Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Snow Day

Well, it may be the second day of spring, but most schools in the region are closed, including the rarely closed New York City Public Schools. Some districts are running out of snow days, and the novelty of hunkering down while the weather outside is frightful is wearing very thin. To make it worse, many of us have had our power out during prior storms and know that this may happen again later today. We've got some ideas on how to make the best of what is, hopefully, the last blast of winter weather.

Working from Home?
  • Set up young children with their own "office", complete with a work table, paper, a pretend phone, and some "work" to do -- coloring, working on puzzles, reading.
  • Use timers to help children understand that you will be available to them "later" and that they need to wait until the timer goes off to interrupt you (absent an emergency). This works best with shorter periods for younger kids, but shorter periods strung together can still allow some work to be done. 
  • For older children and teens, this is a good time for them to do their own schoolwork, or to work on projects they might not otherwise have time to do. 
  • Cut yourself some slack if you need to use videos or other screen time to allow you to do what you need. An hour or two of cartoons will not impact your child's development. 
Lights Out?
  • Safety requires extra supervision when the house is dark, so put any work away. 
  • Use flashlights, not candles. Hopefully, you have stocked up on flashlights and batteries.
  • This is a great time for old fashioned books and board games. 
Outdoor Time
  • Once the snow has stopped, heading outside can be fun. Make sure there are no trees or limbs in the area that might be stressed or damaged, so that you can all play outside safely.  
  • Children old enough to handle a shovel can help dig out, but only on sidewalks and driveways. Clearing off cars in the street can be dangerous, as plows and other cars go by. 
  • Make sure that no one stays out too long or gets too cold.
  • Hot cocoa may be required when everyone comes back inside, and that's a great thing.

And Don't Forget...
  • Together with your kids, make sure your elderly or disabled neighbors are okay and help dig them out, if needed. While you are at it, check to see that they don't need other assistance.  
Have fun, stay safe, and think about warmer weather!

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