Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Buried! And Making the Best of It!

There's nothing quite like the first major snowstorm of the season.  The kids are excited and we can't wait to enjoy it... however, it's not always easy to enjoy a blizzard.  The wind really whips the snow around everywhere and the snow is so deep it's difficult to walk in.  However, we have lots of ideas for making the day lots of fun!


 We woke to a good 24" and the promise that the snow would now last ALL day!  The boys were thrilled.  We could hear and see the wind whipping around but they weren't daunted and couldn't wait to go play.  Ian was out the door with his father quite early and they started shoveling out the garage doors and shoveling the snow away from our deck door and off the windows (since it really had piled that high!).  We got a pretty good picture of Ian standing on our deck in the middle of the accumulation.  After they were done shoveling Ian went to work on snow removal with his grandfather and I was left with the younger two.  Ian loves the snow because he just can't wait to go to work and shovel it all.  Especially if we have enough where he can run the loader or other equipment!

 When it's too cold to venture out and play in the snow we bring snow inside!   The boys sat at the table and wanted to paint the snow.  We took out watercolors, brushes and water cups and they set to work.  They mixed colors and watched how fast this super light and fluffy snow melted.  Evan remembered bringing out colored water bottles to paint the snow and asked if we could do that today too.  If they don't feel like painting the snow we bring out animals or character toys and they make up things to do with them.


We snuggle up, watch a movie and watch the snow piling up outside the windows; we especially love to watch movies about winter and snow like Snow Day or Arctic Tale.  
We make hot cocoa and pop popcorn too. 
We play in the snow and then warm up by the fire when we come inside! 
 
We paint the snow outside too! I prepared our watercolor paint bottles (a few drops of liquid watercolor with a bunch of water) and got geared up to go out in the snow with them.  It was cold! They couldn't have cared less.  They had troubles walking in the snow since it was up to their waists! But they soon made up a game and had fun squirting the snow and our wall with all the paint.  They must have played outside for an hour!  They walked all around the house checking the depth of the snow everywhere.  At one point Alec got stuck and almost lost his boot!  They walked up to the back deck and played with the snow piles on our table and chairs a bit (at least we finally found them!) and barricaded the door against parents.  I was forced to remind them that Ian and dad had worked hard to clear snow AWAY from the back door not toward it.  But I needn't have bothered.  By 1 o'clock the snow was already another foot thick by the door anyway.


Snow rainbow! 




































     






We play board games and make puzzles.  We played some Pokemon Monopoly.  We played a few rounds and once again I was struck by all that they learn playing the game.  Evan was even reading the names of his Pokemon characters as we played today.  They did a lot of adding, subtracting, and counting money too.  We exchanged larger bills for smaller bills and smaller bills for larger bills.  We counted on, used nearby math facts to help us figure out some adding, and talked about all the many techniques people use to remember facts.

The boys love to play video games.  It was well past 11 and I was surprised that they hadn't turned them on yet.  They know that when the snow it thick and deep and we aren't having school that they are free to use all the screens they want.   The games were short lived though.  My husband showed up with an antique loader to plow our driveway and part of our yard.  We had some pretty large snow piles that had been left behind by the plow and we needed to lift them up out the way; making the piles even higher.

 We climb on all the snow piles.  The boys could not resist the allure of large snow piles.  They geared back up and headed outside for another hour!  They climbed on the piles, played king of the mountain and had fun trying to lift some of the larger chunks of snow the plow had made.





 I was thinking what a fun, cozy day we were having but I was noticing that the snow still had not stopped (like I thought it was supposed to) and I was a bit dismayed to hear that the snow was to continue through to tonight now too.   We're already buried!  The boys, of course, whopped with delight when they heard more snow.  

They're loving this snow day and hoping for another one tomorrow. 

Then they all took off-- Ian went back to work and planned on working the rest of the day plowing and shoveling relatives, friends, and neighbors (as well as at his dad's work).

We build forts and tunnels in the snow! The boys were anxious to show me the fort they had built, the ramparts they made, the secret entrances and caves, the "stairs" and the slides.  It was great that they worked so hard together and they were so proud of the fact that no adults had helped them.


We play with play dough, slime or other fun sensory recipes. 

We read books!

We build blanket forts.

We make special snacks like snow shakes!  We found many different recipes on Pinterest for snow ice cream and made up our own.  We used 4 cups of snow, 1 cup Cinnabon creamer, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla.  The boys all agreed it was yummy! We'll have to experiment with some other recipes in the coming days because this was a huge hit! (ignore the ketchup in the picture... that was left out from our dinner).

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