Snow day! Now what?
Our Cook Children's experts give suggestions on what to do on snowy days
You are home with your kids and it's snowing outside. You look out the window and everyone admires the winter wonderland. Now what? We reached out to a few of our experts at Cook Children's for some fun ideas. Enjoy the snow!
Joy Crabtree, licensed psychologist in Southlake: "I love snow. My first reaction is get outside and play in it with your kids! Use recycle bins and laundry baskets, or whatever and pull your kiddos around. Make a snowman. Use food coloring and draw pictures in the snow. Make snow angels etc.
Then, go inside and get warm. Make hot chocolate with marshmallows. Work together to make a batch of homemade soup. Play cards, board games, or do craft projects. Build a fort or set up a tent so they can play or read books.
When parents need a break, go watch a show or read for a bit. Kids can watch cartoons or play on their mobile devices for a while.
Make some healthy snacks- make popcorn from scratch, celery sticks with peanut butter, cut up fruit and dip in chocolate or other fruit dip; cheese and crackers."
Vanessa Charette, M.D., a pediatrician in Fort Worth: My 7 year old had a blast making colored “crystals” in the kitchen all morning this week. I set him up with a tray of plastic tubes (but cups will do fine), food coloring, water and a dropper and let him mix colors and add water and the “crystals”. He ended up with six different colored bags of crystals.For supplies: All you need are craft water absorbing polyacrylamide gel crystals from a craft store and the food coloring.
We also went sledding! And I let the boys build a giant pillow blanket fort."
Joel Steelman, M.D., endocrinologist: "Entertainment could include bundling up and getting outside. Gotta be safe though with the ice and slipping risk. My daughter and I were out a little over an hour this week, ice sledding on the street. We saw lots of kids using various items – pizza pans, laundry baskets, ect. as impromptu sleds. Just need to make sure that the little ones are warmly dressed and limit outside time. That’s a good active, outside entertainment. For indoors & media that's free - board games, art projectsand puzzles.
And how to you take care of yourself as a parent: "Healthy and sanity as a parent may also include doing a family meal prep together. For me, though, cooking when I’m not rushed is enjoyable. So, I did breakfast for dinner the other night with a little help from my daughter. S’mores if you have an indoor fireplace would be a fun (although not healthy) activity as well."
Kim Mangham, M.D., pediatrician, Keller: Dr. Mangham wants to make sure all the kids are bundled up, before they enjoy the snow. But enjoy the snow! She recommends fun indoor activities such as board games and the family watching a movie together. We recommend her baked oatmeal:
2 c frozen blueberries2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided1 (18-oz) container regular oats3 large eggs, beaten- can use egg whites1 c firmly packed brown sugar1 c unsweetened applesauce1 Tbsp ground cinnamon4 tsp baking powder1 tsp salt1 1/4 c water1 c milk1/4 c melted butter
1. Toss 2 c blueberries in 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and spread evenly on bottom of a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish
2. Combine oats, next 9 ingredients, and remaining 1 Tbsp lemon juice in a large bowl, stirring until well blended. Pour oat mixture evenly over blueberries.
3. Bake, covered at 350 for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 20 more minutes or until golden brown and set
APPLE-PECAN BAKED OATMEAL: Place 1/2 cup chopped pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 15 min or until toasted, stirring once. Omit blueberries and lemon juice. Peel and chop 5 Granny Smith apples. Spread on bottom of a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Sprinkle toasted pecans over apples. Prepare oat mixture as directed, and pour evenly over apples and pecans. Bake as directed .
Sandra Peak, M.D., pediatrician, Lewisville: In the Peak household, they have just three words: Chocolate. Chip. Cookies!