What To Do On A Snow Day
So, the much-awaited Storm Emma is building momentum and Met Éireann has issued a Status Red warning amid concerns that the Arctic weather front could escalate to pose a threat of life.
According to independent.ie emergency plans are being put in place for the widespread schools closures on Thursday and Friday after school transport chiefs were warned heavy snow could lead to all services being suspended.
This means that about 116 000 children won’t be able to make it to school. It is likely that crèches and other childcare facilities will also remain closed. Public transport is severely limited, and the public have been warned to stay inside while the Status Red weather continues.
So, what is there to do with your little ones when you’re stuck at home while it’s snowing outside? Here are a few ideas to consider make sure you’re all safe, warm and are kept busy:
Check your supplies
- Make sure you have sufficient heating fuel for your home.
- Make sure you have enough warm clothes and blankets on hand,
- Stock non-perishable food items
- Stock necessary medications to last you and your family for a few days (and make sure you know where they are).
Get ready for a power outage:
Turn your heat up now (if the budget is tight make sure it comes on for a while every few hours to help avoid pipes freezing) and close off any rooms that are not in use. Charge your battery-powered electronic and communication devices and get your flashlights, batteries, and candles ready.
Stay inside and safe:
- Drive only if you absolutely must. Be sure your car is outfitted with snow tires, and keep an ice scraper, torch, blanket and shovel in the car.
- Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing layers of warm, loose-fitting clothing.
- Keep your pets inside, or make suitable arrangements for them.
Indoor activities for your kids:
It’s important to keep your children busy during these times, as they can become bored more quickly. Here are a few indoor activities to try to get rid of some of their energy:
Read Next: How To Teach Your Child To Have Fun With Recycling
Pop bottle bowling
Make a pop bottle bowling game more fun and colourful by replacing the bottle content with coloured water. Take turns with your kids knocking them down by rolling a ball and keep score (just like a regular bowling).
- 10 plastic bottles
- 10 shades of paint (only one is needed, the rest are optional)
- a ball
- a glue gun (optional)
After cleaning the bottles thoroughly, squirt a small amount of paint into each bottle. Put the bottles’ caps back on and shake each bottle vigorously to spread the paint throuout the bottle. Remove the caps and pour excess liquid out. Pack it on the ground in a triangular form, take a few steps back and roll the ball. Let the fun begin!
Mystery Sensory Box
Decorate an empty box and fill it with “secret” items. Invite your kids to reach inside, feel the mystery item, and then take turns guessing what it might be. You can make it more exciting by choosing items with differen textures.
- an old shoe box
- Wrapping paper
Cut a hole in one side of the box big enough for a kid’s hand to fit through. Use the wrapping paper to cover the box and lid. Finally cut out a piece of felt to cover the opening en then cut some vertical slits in it. Hang it down over the opening so your child can’t peek at what is inside the box.Put a few objects in the box and put the lid on. Let your little one feel around and try to guess what’s in the box.
Cereal box puzzles:
Puzzles are a great way for young kids to develop their fine motor skills. There’s no need to buy a set from the store. Just use their favourite cereal box!
- A Cereal box
- Pair of scissors
Start by cuttion out the front panel of the cereal box. Then just cut the box front into a few large shapes. The older the child, the more smaller you can cut the pieces, so you could draw a pattern on the back in felt tip and cut it out if you want a classic puzzle look.
Fizzy colours experiment:
What’s better than to learn when you’re playing? Add some science into your children’s indoor activities and let them have fun experimenting.
- A box of baking soda
- Small bowl of white vinegar
- Medicine dropper
- Food colouring
- Baking sheet
Sprinkle baking soda all over the baking sheet. Shake the sheet back and forth to evely distribute the baking soda. Use the food colouring dropper to squeeze drops of colour all over the baking soda. Next is the fun part: Only a drop of vinegar on each drop of food colour will make the magic happen.
Read Next: How To Keep The Kids Entertained When It's Pouring (with snow)
Stay up to date with what’s happening during the storm:
Keep an eye on the following services when Storm Emma’s cold blast hits:
For practical advice and contact details for the services which provide help in extreme weather events.
Sign up for your local authority’s text-messaging service. Check your council’s website and also www.housing.gov.ie
Facebook and Twitter are a great source of information in these conditions…and there are some top-quality memes about the #sneachta too.
www.esbpowercheck.ie or phone 1850 372 999 to report outages.
We hope you have a warm and safe snow day or two, and don't get cabin fever! For more inspiration, head to our Crafts & Activities section.