Saturday, February 19, 2011

Indoor Winter Fun

Indoor winter fun

There are endless possibilities when it comes to indoor fun during a New England winter. Some of my favorites include baking, playing games, and making paper snowflakes. When my children were little, as a stay-at-home mom, ours would often be the go-to house when it came to snow days. This sometimes resulted in a houseful of kids!

After a morning of quiet-ish activities such as building blocks, dolls, dominoes, and the like, it was time to get moving! Getting the kids to clean up was easy as they were excited about what we were going to do next—go sliding—indoors and not with sleds. What? You are probably thinking. That’s right, on bad weather days we would do static electricity experiments with a small plastic slide in our family room!

The kids got in a line and took turns sliding down the slide. I gave them old keys to hold. When they got off the slide, they tried to see how close they could get to someone else’s key to make a spark jump. It was really great on dark and dreary days to see that electricity crackle through the air. We rubbed balloons on our heads and stuck them to walls. The kids loved it when their hair stood up on end! We put salt and pepper on paper plates and made the pepper jump onto a static-filled balloon! Science was my salvation on those long days when I was grossly outnumbered.

Now that my kids are grown, snow days are much quieter, filled with correcting papers and shoveling out elderly parents. It’s fun to remember the look of wonderment and joy on the kids’ faces on those wild winter days.

Do you have any snow day memories? I’d love to hear about them! Please leave me a comment below.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Winter is so much fun, filled with many outdoor activities not available any other time of year because of that fun precipitation--snow! We’ve had more than our share of snow this winter, resulting in frequent snow days!

One of my favorite winter activities is sledding. I always wondered why I don’t care to jump on a sled and careen down a steep, slippery slope face first. I prefer to sit on my bottom and slide down, ready to lean and fall off the sled at the first hint of danger. That mystery was solved recently during a family movie night. While enjoying some crunchy buttery popcorn and warm hot cocoa, we watched some old films of my childhood. These super-8 films have been put on video tape making them much easier to view.

One event caught on film was a family outing. I was probably about five years old or so at the time. We were all dressed warmly in puffy snowsuits, boots, mittens, hats, and scarves. Our chubby cheeks peeked out from our hoods and you could see the puffs of our breath as we spoke. Unfortunately, our conversation is lost forever because was no sound recording at that time (c. 1965).

There it was—a shot of me sliding face first down the hill at Cook Playground…into a snow pile. My back arched as my legs flew up over my head. Ouch! It’s a wonder I don’t have worse back problems today! The person who transferred these movies from film to video thought it would be hilarious to also record this segment in slow motion backwards and forwards a few times. I found it a bit painful to watch.

Now I know why next time I go out sledding, I’ll be sitting on my bottom, enjoying the rush of the wind in my face rather than a face full of snow.

Do you like sledding?  Where is your favorite hill for sledding?  Leave me a comment below.