As I write this, all of WNY seems to be closed due to the weather. I’m going to be honest, I don’t really mind. I’m lucky enough to be able to work from home and my kids are still getting along, so while the weather outside is fierce the calm within our home is settling.
With the extra “free” time, I got to thinking about how excited kids get about Snow Days. What is it that makes them so exciting? Sure there is the whole not going to school things, but I think a lot of kids do like being at school with their friends and adults who care about them. So what is so exciting….and then I realized how much a Snow Day is like sports.
Snow Days offer several things, first they offer the chance to play in an unstructured way that allows for imagination and creativity. On Snow Days adults don’t tell kids what to do or where to be because everyone is stuck together. I’m always pushing the kids out the door on Snow Days so they can breath the fresh air and run out some energy (not this time- Polar Vortex 2019!), but I don’t tell them what to do outside. Snow Days can provide opportunities for Free Play.
Secondly, Snow Days are really in some ways a break. They are a time to stop, slow down, and enjoy the right now. The world today asks so much of parents, kids, coaches, teachers, and everyone around, BUT on a Snow Day no one demands anything- it’s survival. Snow Days mean no practices, no school, maybe just PJs and board games if we are lucky. They require nothing of us.
Free Play has been a big topic in our field lately and a Snow Day, perhaps more than anything else in our area, can help us to see its benefits and allow us to slow down enough to think and its enjoy all that Free Play has to offer.