To the mom with a love/hate relationship to snow days

I see you looking for the lost mitten—WHERE DOES IT ALWAYS GO?!—because the kids want to go outside.

To the mom with a love/hate relationship to snow days

Snow day.

Two simple words. And yet they sound so different to me now that I’ve become a mother.

When we were kids, we would wake up early to listen to the radio or turn on the TV the morning of a storm and wait our turn for our alphabetized school name to appear (or not!) on the scrolling list of school closures. (YES!!!! We’re closed! ALL MY DREAMS HAVE COME TRUE!)

Today, school districts send out cancellations by text message the night before. Oh great. No school tomorrow for the kids either. Yay.

So in our house, after a week of stomach viruses and half days and work trips, our kids are now on their second day of no school with a likely third on the way.

Snow days are here to remind us that a break from the everyday grind can be wonderful. But they can also be incredibly hard to get through without support, electricity, milk or even a moment of quiet. ?‍♀️

To the mama whose kids are home on a snow day, I SEE YOU.

I see you trying to move work meetings to nap time because your clients, dialing in from someplace sunny, still need you to meet the deadline.

I see you handing out hot chocolates with breakfast because even though having sugar-filled kids cooped up in a house doesn’t seem like your best idea—it also seems like a super fun tradition you want your kids to enjoy.

I see you calculating screen time in your head because it’s only 9 am and the kids have already watched two movies, and you’re really not sure how to keep everyone from going crazy in the house all day.

I see you Googling “snow day activities” because you don’t want to miss an opportunity to create a little magic, but also you’re exhausted already and need to borrow someone else’s awesome ideas.

I see you looking for the lost mitten—WHERE DOES IT ALWAYS GO?!—because the kids want to go outside and make snow angels and their little fingers get so cold so quickly.

I see you unbuckling your kids’ snowsuits nine minutes later because after a few minutes outside they’re “fweezing!” and have to go peepee right now and lost their boot in the snow and their brother threw a snowball in their eye.

I see you huddling together the flashlights and candles and charging your phone as the lights start to flicker and you wonder where you will go if the power goes out for days on end.

I see you breaking up the 10th fight of the day between your kids because it’s just too much energy in one small space, and you don’t really know who hit who first but it doesn’t really matter because we don’t hurt one another and please check on your sister and make sure she’s okay and see if there’s anything you can do to make it better.

I see that after a day of nonstop cleaning up after your kids and asking them to clean up after themselves you truly cannot mentally handle wiping up another mess and was that the sound of Cheerios spilling all over the kitchen floor?

I see you wondering if this cold, dark, sickness-ridden winter will EVER end.

I see you wondering how you’ll get more milk because the car is under a mountain of snow and your kids guzzled a gallon of milk in 36 hours and apparently it is the ONLY beverage they can consider drinking and you need to call the dairy farm for a delivery STAT.

I see you pushing yourself to seize the day—seize THIS day—because snow days only come a few times a year and you want to stop and embrace the beauty and stillness.

Somewhere, under that pile of snow, I see you.

Snow days remind us that our entire world can be contained inside our house.

Snow days remind us that slowing down with our crew is an expected gift.

Snow days remind us that it takes a village but sometimes just mom has to do.

Snow days remind us that this mothering thing is HARD, but it’s also full of cuddles on the couch, opportunities to throw dance parties, and chances to splurge on our kids with love (and cookies!) just because.

Snow days remind us of the magic of childhood and teach us to bring a little bit of that feeling out every day.

Snow days remind us that each day is fleeting. Today may be perfect. It may be brutal. But it will pass.

Snow days remind us that this parenthood thing is full of twists and turns we can’t see coming (like the tree branch that fell on my neighbor’s roof), so it’s best to seize the moment.

And if you can’t seize this snowy moment, grab a cup of hot chocolate, turn on Moana with your kids, and dream of Hawaii. ?

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


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