Fatherly Stuff: Passing the Time During a Snowstorm

Feb 10, 2013

Passing the Time During a Snowstorm

My family and I live in New England.  It really is a beautiful place with lots of fun stuff to see and do. But not right now. Because at the moment we are in the middle of one of our coldest winters in the past few years and because of that, we often find our evenings stuck in the house.  On this particular weekend, we've had a particularly nasty visit paid to us by Nemo. Nemo was nice enough to leave lovely "presents" for us, like enough snow to bury our cars and force our Govenor to declare a State of Emergency.


 Needless to say, we were legally mandated to stay off the roads to allow the plow trucks to do their job effectively. That can be a challenging proposition for an energetic toddler, but luckily we came up with a number of activities to keep him occupied. Here are a few of them:

 1.Fun Out In the Snow                                    

I let him dig the cars out while I just sat back and watched

We (By "we" I mean "I") went out and dug our cars out the best we could before we decided to call it quits. Due to the severity of the storm, our little road has not yet been plowed, so we are expecting to be trapped in the house for a while. The next day we decided to try out a cool project that was suggested by a friend: Snow painting. All we did was mix water with food coloring and filled up an empty dish detergent bottle as well as a spray bottle. We used the opportunity to talk to him about primary colors and how they mix to create secondary colors.

His decorated snow cave
Good thing he didn't ask for yellow snow

It's like his own personal, snow filled sandbox
2. Indoor Snow Play

Eventually it got too cold to keep him outside but of course he wanted to continue playing. You know what they say: if you can bring the boy to the snow.... We went out and put some snow in one of his toy bins and put some of his bath toys in it. It turned out to be a good compromise

3. Chutes & Ladders

Inside we played his favorite game about 50 times:Chutes &Ladders. It's a classic twist on this original with the Sesame Street theme. I also like this game because of the educational value: If you look closely, you will see that good behavior is rewarded with a ladder and bad behavior is discouraged with a chute. (Note to self: One snowstorm passes, buy more boardgames to prevent parental boredom)
4.Turned Him Into an Old Man 

We had a lot of fun with this one. It's an app called "Make Me Old". You get to choose from a variety of moustache, beard and eyeglass styles.
 5. Smooshing a Bowl Full of Gel 
Food coloring of his choice was added
We got this idea when we brought him to the ultrasound appointments. Whenever the specialist would put the gel on his mom's belly, he would try to put his fingers in it.  We promised him we would give him his own to play with at home if he would sit still. All it is is some organic hair gel we didn't use anymore and some food coloring. It was great because it involved the one thing that kids love the most: a free pass to make as much of as mess as you want!
Question: Were you ever stuck in the house for an extended period of time? If so, what did you do to pass the time?
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  1. When I was growing up, I lived in Kansas. It snowed from Halloween until Easter there. My fondest memories were of snow forts, build from frozen blocks of snow, and the time we got snowed in on a Sunday and had to bake chocolate chip cookies instead of going to Mass. Stay warm! Looks like you guys came up with plenty of fun options! How about some Snow Cream?

    1. You know what, Helen? I've never heard of snow cream. I looked it up and I'm pretty excited to try it out. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. That "old" picture of your son is awesome!

    It sounds like you found tons of fun ways to pass the time. We love bringing snow inside, and my kids spend hours with their legos and drawing.

    1. Thanks, Maryanne! Hopefully we wont have to deal with another snowstorm like this for a long time, but at least we will have plenty to do!

  3. What fun! We were also buried by Nemo--finding the cars was interesting, not that we were going anywhere. My kids enjoyed building a snow fort when we could get them outside, but they were a little stir crazy during the blizzard portion on Friday.

    1. Glad you were able to make the most of the storm as well!

  4. I have to try that app with my kids! So cute! We were buried in the snow too. We were so happy to get out for a bit today. Looks like you all made the best of it like us. I am totally going to make that gel stuff. My daughter will have a ball with that.

  5. Great ideas here. Oh how I loved Chutes and Ladders!

    1. Thanks, Bonnie! The Sesame Street remake was a fresh twist to a classic, but after playing it almost 10 times a day, I am ready to give it a rest

  6. ho FUN! I love the food coloring idea...with the snow that high, it was hard to PLAY...we all kept getting stuck!!!!

    Looks like you had a great time - and I totally need to track down that app...that is awesome!

    1. Yeah, we didnt have him come out until after we had a bunch of paths already shoveled. The app is called "Make Me Old" via android. But Im sure you can find a similar app with any other phone system.