How’s this winter going for you, friends?

Well, after some bitter cold temperatures, we found ourselves with a bunch of ice and snow, as well as an unexpected four-day weekend, mostly stuck inside. That led to a little too much unstructured time indoors and a grumpy mom.

Does this sound familiar to you at all?

In general, I actually LOVE snow days and other times the kids have a day off of school because we can do fun things like bake and watch movies. But I also have a job where I work from home and things to get done around the house, so I can’t spend the entire day entertaining them. And when my kids get bored, they usually end up fighting or begging for screen time.

This last snow day, I decided to try a pro-active approach to ward off the boredom-induced fighting and crabbiness. And I liked this idea enough that I used it again when they had another snow day…just a few days later!

On a snow day, or any other random day off of school, I expect the kids to make sure they get homework done, do their chores, and get some fresh air, if the weather allows.

Now, our “no school day plans” also include a checklist that offers some structure and includes things important to our family – faith, exercise, reading, and creativity! Here’s what our list looks like:

  • Practice your instrument
  • Read for at least 30 minutes
  • Write down 3 things for which you’re thankful
  • Read a devotion and talk to Mom about it
  • Create something – draw, paint, bake, build, etc.
  • Do something active for at least 30 minutes

I love this list, in addition to chores and homework, because the kids actually enjoy most of these things, but they don’t always choose to do them on their own. I also find that kids don’t always make the best decisions when they’re bored – both with emotions AND actions – so providing them some fun structure is setting them up for success!

The best part about this idea – you make it fit your family!

Think about your family’s priorities AND interests, then combine them to make a 6-8 item list to add some structure to your snow day WITHOUT making your kids feel like you’re telling what them to do every minute of the day.

It’s also a win for YOU, Mom, because they are not allowed to ask for screen time or say they’re bored until they’ve checked off every item on the list! Doesn’t that sound glorious?!

This isn’t some revolutionary idea, but when something works for us, I love to share in hopes it might help another mom just like me!

TELL ME: What would be on your snow day checklist for your kids?