Even though it’s been a mild winter so far for most of us, we WILL get snow. And there WILL be snow days when the kids are off from school. Before they get bored or antsy from being stuck indoors, have a SNOW SURVIVAL KIT ready. Here’s Marilyn Ostermiller to tell you what you need.
Do those two words elicit joyful shouts at your house on a wintery school day? They promise plenty of family fun, especially if you have surprises ready.
The children will want to build a snowman, sled down a hill, build a snow fort, have a snowball fight or even help shovel.
BE PREPARED: Check now to be sure everyone has boots, jackets, mittens and caps that fit.
Mother Nature supplies the raw material, but here are extras to tuck away:
— My Very Own Snowman Kit from Bed Bath & Beyond includes black top hat, “coal” buttons, a red, fringed scarf and a nonperishable carrot.
— Ideal Sno-Brick Maker can speed the building of snow forts. http://www.amazon.com
AFTER SNOW FUN: When the children come in with rosy cheeks and a hearty appetite your pantry can hold all the ingredients for seasonal cookies and hot cocoa.
Melting Snowman Cookies recipe
from Angela Gray at http://www.justapinch.com
12 sugar cookies, 3 or 4 inches in diameter. (Bake your own, use prepared refrigerated sugar cookie dough or buy packaged cookies.)
12 large marshmallows
Small tubes of “Writing Icing” in red, green, blue and black. Yellow optional.
Royal icing (1/4 cup pasteurized egg whites, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 cups powdered sugar.)
1. Set on cookies on a flat surface.
2. Prepare Royal Icing. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/royal-icing-recipe
3. Spread icing unevenly on each cookie so it looks like melting snow.
4. To heat marshmallows, spray a microwave safe plate with cooking spray, and place marshmallows on it. Set the microwave for 30 seconds, but watch the marshmallows as they cook. Stop the microwave as soon as they start to get puffy. Do not let them double in size.
5. Carefully pull the marshmallows off, by the base, and set them on top of the frosted cookies. It is easier if you spray your fingers with cooking spray or grease them up with shortening. Push in the tops very gently. You may need to use a little icing on the bottom of the marshmallow to get it to stick to the icing.
6. Using the “Writing Icing” draw twigs for arms, facial features, buttons and scarf.
Have the ingredients for making your hot cocoa ready: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/9335/hot-cocoa-mix/ or add hot water to packets of cocoa drink mix. Pour into mugs and top with the extra marshmallows.
These snow day adventure books, http://www.amazon.com, round out the fun:
The Snowy Day, a 1963 Caldecott Medal winner, written by Ezra Jacks Keats. This picture book tells the tale of a boy waking to discover a snow-draped city. He spends the day experimenting with footprints, knocking snow from a tree, creating snow angels, and trying to save a snowball for the next day.
Fancy Nancy: There’s No Day Like a Snow Day by Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser. Ooh la la! It’s a blizzard. School is cancelled. And Nancy, JoJo, Bree, and Freddy are “tres” excited to go outside and play. From making snow angels to building snowmen to catching snowflakes . . . everyone has “snow” much fun!
Happy Snow Days!
This post was prepared by Marilyn Ostermiller, a long-time business journalist who has begun writing for children. You can follow her on Twitter @Marilyn_Suzanne