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Snow Day Ideas for Your Family

Growing up in the middle of Michigan, we had plenty of days when school would be canceled due to snow, ice, or even sub-zero temperatures. My elementary-aged self was ecstatic when that happened! However, as a parent, I soon discovered that it can sometimes be tricky keeping the gang occupied on these days off from schoolwork.

Here are a few ideas and recipes to help your kiddos pass the time and to save yourself some sanity!

Growing up in Michigan, snow days are all too familiar! Of course, the kids are pumped, but as a parent, we can soon discover that keeping everyone occupied can be a bit of a challenge. Here are a few ideas and recipes to help your kiddos pass the time and to save yourself some sanity!

~ Read aloud. Choose some age-appropriate books and gather the family around. Sip something hot and creamy while you take turns reading out loud the old-fashioned way.

~ Take a trip back in time. Pop some popcorn, turn out the lights and watch some old home videos. Sure to bring giggles and a lot of “I remember that!”s.

~Help the neighbors.  Is there an elderly couple in your neighborhood that means their driveway shoveled? As a family go and dig them out. Also, take along a mug of hot cocoa for them to enjoy as they peer out the window and see your family working.

~ Plan for summer. For fun, brainstorm as a family any day trips or activities you want to do when the weather is warm in the summer. Hop on the internet and bookmark any of the theme parks, beaches, state parks, or other attractions you want to visit. Here’s three more ideas for summer family fun.

~ Sort and clean. Yep. You read that right. Give each child two boxes labeled “give away” and “throw-away”. Have them go on a de-junking journey to rid their rooms of toys no longer wanted or clothes that no longer fit. They will put these in the “give away” box. The trash they come across goes in the “throwaway” box. Crank up some music to make the work speed along. As a reward when done, pay each child a small fee and watch a movie together. Donate the items to Goodwill or The Salvation Army.

~Rearrange.  Once you’ve gotten rid of unwanted junk, for fun let the kids rearrange their bedrooms. Or even rearrange the living room. Change is good. 🙂

~Cuddle on the couch.  A snow day is a great day to watch an old black-and-white movie or reruns of television shows from the 60s and 70s. Some favorites are Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Brady Bunch, Gilligan’s Island, and I Love Lucy.

~Grab a Bible and make Bible Apple Cake.  This fun idea involves looking up passages in the Bible and then adding the ingredient found there into the recipe. It uses common ingredients usually found on hand.

Bible Apple Cake

1 c. Judges 5:25 (butter)
2 c. Jeremiah 6:20 (sugar)
6 Isaiah 10:14 (eggs)
3½ c. 1 Kings 4:22 (flour)
½ tsp. Leviticus 2:13 (salt)
2 tsp. 1 Corinthians 5:5 (baking powder)
¼ tsp. each of 1 Kings 10:2 (3 spices)
1 c. Genesis 24:2 (water)
1 Tbs. Exodus 16:31 (honey or sugar)
½ c. 1 Samuel 25:18 (raisins or chopped figs)
1½ c. Proverbs 7:2 (apple, chopped and peeled)
1 c. Genesis 43:2 (nuts, chopped)

Cream softened butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice). Mix honey with water and add to butter mixture, alternating with dry ingredients. Stir in raisins or figs, apple, and nuts. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 375°F for 50–60 minutes or until it tests done.

For fun, take some to the neighbors with a tag attached with Proverbs 7:2 along the top: “Keep my commandments and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.”

~ Write letters.  Have the kids write letters to grandma and grandpa or other relatives far away. This is an often-lost art in our society and your relatives will be thrilled to get a handwritten note.

~Make a mess {in the kitchen, that is!}  Now is a great time to make a family snack. Pick your favorite batch of homemade cookies, brownies, or other homemade goodie or even whip up a steaming pot of soup for supper. Work as a team—including during clean up!

Here are a few recipes our family loves:

Turkey Sausage Breakfast Pizza

Let the kids sleep in. Then, as a family assemble this yummy breakfast.

1 (8 oz.) tube refrigerated crescent rolls or pizza dough
1 lb. bulk turkey breakfast sausage
½ lb. sliced mushrooms
½ c. onion, chopped
1 c. part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 c. cheddar cheese, shredded

Roll out crescent rolls or pizza dough to the desired size for the crust. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Meanwhile fry sausage, mushrooms, and onion until sausage is browned. Drain on paper towels. When the crust is done, spread sausage mixture to edges. Cover with cheese. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes, or until cheese melts.

Caramel Snack Mix

A yummy mix for a cold day. Munch on it while watching a movie together.

6 c. popped popcorn
3 c. rice Chex cereal
2 c. Cheerios
1¼ c. pecan halves
1¼ c. dry roasted peanuts
1 c. brown sugar
½ c. butter (no substitutes)
¼ c. light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. baking soda

Combine popcorn, cereals, and nuts on a lightly greased roasting pan. In a heavy-bottom saucepan, bring the brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup to a boil. Boil gently until candy thermometer reads 250°F. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda. Immediately pour over popcorn mixture and stir to coat. Bake uncovered at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 10–15 minutes. Allow to cool before eating.

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

My copy-cat version of a soup my daughter used to love at Panera Bread. I invented it for her 12th birthday dinner. It is a stick-to-your-ribs warm bowl of deliciousness!

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 onion, chopped
1 cup chopped, peeled carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup flour
6 cups chicken stock (or 6 cups water with bouillon cubes to taste)
6-ounce package long grain and wild rice
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
3 tablespoons cooking sherry (optional)

In a large soup kettle, melt butter and sauté onions, carrots, and celery until tender. Stir in flour. Gradually add stock until mixture comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low. Prepare rice as directed on the box. Add rice and chicken to stock and simmer 10 minutes. Add sherry. Serves 10.

Keep warm & enjoy your family!

Karen, KarenEhman.com

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