Sunday, March 2, 2014

Dealing with Snow Days (Canadian Feature)

I Am Canadian Feature Mama Musings Snow Days

Journeys of The Zoo’s I Am Canadian Feature Guest Post
for March is… MamaMusing Online and Dealing with Snow Days.

Wintertime up here in the Great White North is always just that: Great and White. My front lawn hasn’t seen sunlight since November. A Canadian winter just wouldn’t be the same without snow. You couldn’t go tobogganing, skiing, snowmobiling even build a snowman. But for all the fun that can be had in the snow, it can also cause some headaches. Chief among those is the Snow Day. Kids love them, and you can’t really blame them. But for working parents, a snowday can throw quite a monkeywrench into the morning routine.

Every morning, before my husband and I roll out of bed, we listen to the radio. It is our chosen form of media to see whether or not schools or buses are cancelled. Living in Canada – this can happen quite a bit during the winter, so you always have to check!

In the event that the snow does affect the schools, it will most of the time result in the buses being cancelled. Schools where 100% of the students are bussed to school will then be closed, but schools where students walk to school will remain open. Only under extreme circumstances will all of the schools be closed. So if your child attends a school that remains open when transportation is cancelled you just have to figure out how (or if) to get them to school. If you do manage that, you do need to keep in mind that you are also responsible for picking them up on time, since there won’t be any buses bringing them home either. My daughter loves these days, because a lot of kids don’t make it in to school and she loves the one-on-one attention that she gets from her teacher!

If it turns out that the school is actually closed, you’d better have a back up plan in place and ready to go. You’ve got to have someone “on call”. Perhaps Grandma and Grandpa, or someone else who can come and stay with your kid(s) so you can get to work. Otherwise you’re calling in sick…

If you’re lucky and you end up at home with your kids – what do you do? Snow days can sometimes be fun and you can go and play outside in the snow. But recently, we’ve had days that were so frigid that being outside for more than 5 minutes wasn’t really an option.

You could start the morning off by curling up together and reading. It’s a great way to spend time together! Go beyond just reading and ask questions as you read, or get them to predict the ending, or better yet – create a new ending!

Afterwards, you can break out the crayons for some good old fashioned colouring. I love sitting with my kids and colouring together. We have the large colouring books and will share one picture and colour it together. They take a while, but it teaches patience and also an appreciation for their work when the picture is completed.

We have puzzles, toys, etc which we play with together. Or build a fort with sheets and pillows. Or you can tie a sheet on top of a table and the kids can use the sheet as a hammock underneath the table.

Do something a little different for lunch. Have a picnic! Spread out a blanket and eat on the floor. So simple, and yet so fun!

In our house, we always have workbooks on hand. Find an activity, or look online for inspiration. There is always something interesting and creative on Pinterest! Sometimes as a special treat we will pop popcorn and watch a movie.

It doesn’t have to be all fun and games though! I’ve also enlisted my kids’ help to fold and put away laundry, and various other chores that need to get done around the house. Chores are boring by yourself. But your kids may not entirely hate them if you are doing it with them.

Snow days are a great opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with your kids. Savour this time with them, because all of a sudden they will be grown up!

What Do You Do On Snow Days?


Canadian Feature March MamaMusing Online Shannon is a Canadian teacher who is currently on maternity leave. She’s had four children in the past five years and writes about her experiences, pregnancy, and parenting.

Connect with Shannon on her Website | Facebook | Twitter


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28 thoughts on “Dealing with Snow Days (Canadian Feature)

  1. Rene

    Love this guest post – something I do on snow days (although the kids are not yet school aged) is baking or cooking – getting a 3yr old to help in the kitchen means that things move really slowly so these are great days to take advantage of the extra time and slow pace of the day while building great and usable skills!

  2. AlwaysARedhead

    Where I live in southern Ontario, school was rarely cancelled for my kids, and there was no busing. When it would snow, the television would be turned on, only to see, yep, schools are open!

  3. Pingback: Dealing with Snow Days - MamaMusing Online

  4. Cathy C

    Great post Shannon. I have to admit I am a lover of the Snow Day, as are my kids. As a SAHM transportation was never an issue, but I often dropped them to school, for the very reason your daughter likes it. Often it is a casual day at school, with more fun activities rather than organized lesson plans. I think it helps the kids to connect with the teachers and school, and see school can be fun too. This is especially important for kids who aren’t lovers of school. Now that my kids are in high school Snow Days mean doing school work. It is no longer a day off, but I still get just a little bit excited about a Snow Day as I remember my own childhood Snow Day experiences. Thanks for sharing eh!
    Cathy C recently posted…FOOD FOR THOUGHT FRIDAY FEATURE: WORTH THE READ FEB 28, 2014My Profile

  5. Kayla @ TheEclecticElement

    I remember back in the day of elementary, junior high, and high school when we would occasionally have a snow day. I say occasionally because we would inevitably have one or two snow days a year being in IL. I can’t imagine being in Canada where snow days are a regular occurrence!
    Kayla @ TheEclecticElement recently posted…Win It Wednesday(2/26)My Profile

  6. Carla

    I LOVE snow days! I work for a university so if the schools shut down we are usually shut down as well – so I think I get more excited then the kids watching the news station for the cancellation notices! LOL! But are you right the weather has been so cold this winter we have not been able to enjoy being outside as much. But we have used this time to practice reading, painting and the kids love to use the basement as an indoor soccer field!

  7. Jenn

    i live in Vancouver so snow happens probably three times a year. it’s usually anticipated and never enough to have closures! so I usually don’t like snow at all (i’d rather it be big or no snow at all)

  8. francine

    my kids aren’t in school yet and im a stay at home mom. when the weather is really bad or its too cold we star in the house and play games, watch movies, scribble on paper… when the weather is nice or too hot we go to the playground that has a splash pad, or we go to the air conditioned mall. our local theatres just became Cineplex and I hear they have great movie deals in the summer. (I know they do for march break. we are going to a toonie movie later this week. )

  9. Lynda Cook

    we rarely got any snow days, but when we did my girls would sleep in and then we would make a nice brunch together, then after all the chores were done we would enjoy a movie together

  10. Anne Taylor

    I’m not sure if I’ve ever had a snow day; I know my kids have had one or so over their entire life in school. Living in Victoria, we miss out on all of the winter fun for the most part, but, honestly, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  11. kathy downey

    Where I live in Newfoundland we get a lot of snow days during the year and these days are for spending time together with the kids baking,telling stories and some times making crafts

  12. Wendy L.

    I live in Northwestern Ontario and our city just had a snow day a couple of weeks ago with all the city schools being closed. I still had to get to work, so my 9-year-old son and I shoveled and shoveled to get our driveway cleared so I could bring him to his grandma. He loves snow days!

  13. HEIDI C.

    Unfortunately, Mommy doesn’t usually get a Snow Day like her kids do. But, my kids love to go outside and play in the new snow then come in and have hot cocoa while watching a movie!

  14. Debbie S.

    Where I live the schools remain open during snow days, buses are cancelled but city kids are still expected to show up! Yep!

  15. Jason

    Thanks for the link up Sarah 🙂 We think snow days are a great opportunity to spend quality family time together and if it’s not too bad out we sneak in some sliding. Great post Shannon 🙂
    Jason recently posted…DIY Birthday CakeMy Profile

  16. Ali P

    My kids don’t have snow days at their school. It is open even when it’s -50 outside. The kids just aren’t allowed outside during recess or lunch.

  17. Elva Roberts

    ON snow days now, I realize how lucky I am not to have to worry about someone looking after our children, I know this is quite a worry for Mothers who have to go to work. Most snow days most of the businesses are closed so most Parents do not have to think about it. We do not have many snow days on our Gentle Island but, those we do have, are usually blizzards.

  18. KD

    On snow days I still need to go into work, as some parents drive their children to school, or the kids walk. (The schools remain open, although buses are cancelled.)


    Snow days, I remember them well. We had a small hill not far from our home were we could walk up and zoom down the hill on our sleds

  20. Elizabeth Matthiesen

    since I’m now retired life is much simpler and safer in winter 🙂 I don’t like driving when there’s snow and ice on the roads. No lane markings to be seen, pulling up in time at the traffic lights, watching out for those crazies who haven’t recognised the danger etc etc. In winter I only drive when absolutely necessary, I’d rather walk for 30 mins. Still last winter when I walked to the shops I also fell – snow had been cleared on the footpath and so it was extra slippy. You should have seen me scoot to my feet, hoping no one had noticed 🙂


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