It's cold outside in many parts of the United States. Some areas have even seen snow, and already, schools have experienced snow days. The first day stuck at home is always fun - minus the forty-two changes of clothing that most children go through in a snow day - full of snow ball fights, snow angels and sledding hysteria.
Stuck inside for more than a day, though, and you may find that your children are bored and in need of some help amusing themselves. One terrific area of inspiration can be found residing on your children's bookshelves. Make a snow day a special day by putting on a family play. Often, the greatest stories to be found have already been written - and they await the fine acting skills of your children. Bring those stories to life! Let your children have a chance to show you their favorite parts, of their favorite stories, and exactly what they would do with those story lines if they lived inside the pages.
What is your sons' favorite story? Does he love Whistle for Willie, which just happens to have been one of my very favorite books as a young child? What about Goodnight, Moon for the preschool set, or Ramona and Beezus for the middle elementary girl? Homer Price is a long forgotten by many of us book, and yet, I still remember the donut making machine scene - I'll bet that would have been a blast to reenact. Even better if I could have convinced my mom to make donuts - what a way to combine literacy, cooking and an enjoyable afternoon spent with the ones you love the most!
Most every book that is a favorite can be dissected and used in a similar fashion. If the main character has a favorite food, teach your child to create it. If the main character has a hobby that consumes their every thought, spend a snowy day learning about it and practicing it. If the story is set in a far off land, study the land - and then decorate your family room in that fashion. You might not be able to create palm trees, but you can make great paper palms and hang them from the lamps. Enjoy lemonade and cookies a la Eloise in the Plaza. Remember to keep those pinkies up!
Let your books, and your imaginations, guide you. Have no limitations to your imagination, enjoy your family, and help make a memory that will last a lifetime when you make a snowy day a special day!