Winter is coming. Actually it is already here. So that means we are in for blizzards, power outages and an all-out epidemic of cabin fever.  Fear not, I have come up with activities for the whole family as you ride out snowdrifts, gale-force winds, and whining, with or without electricity.

  1. Brave the elements in search of C batteries for the 7 non-working flashlights you found in the bottom of your kids’ toy box. This search should take approximately 4 hours and yield exactly 2 batteries.
  2. Tune into the Weather Channel and play drinking games with the forecast. Each time someone says “Jonas” everyone drinks. If they show a picture of one of the Jonas brothers, drink twice. In the event of a power outage, see #6.
  3. Have ice cream for breakfast. This is not bad parenting (hello… dairy) it’s doomsday prep genius. Throwing away a partially eaten, thawed ice cream container chips away at my soul. #benandjerryforpresident
  4. Offer cold hard cash to the first kid who can scrounge up enough cords to charge everyone’s phones and the iPad before the electricity goes out.
  5. Turn on ice maker as soon as you awake. Make kids help pack a cooler with drinks under the pretense that you’re teaching them an essential survival skill. This is partially true because, in this case, your survival depends on it.
  6. If you lose power, continue the drinking game with a new prompt. Each time a kid asks when the power is coming back, everyone drinks.
  7. Convince your kids they get extra credit in history class if they do homework by candlelight like pioneer children. #littlehouseontheprairie
  8. Practice math by placing bets on how many times you’ll pick up the landline forgetting that it’s useless without power. Probability, odds and fractions- Boom! These kids are ready for the SAT.
  9. Let the kids play flashlight tag inside the house. If you’re lucky, they’ll hide forever.
  10. Create homemade costumes and crafts. Bahahaha. Psych! I can’t even type that with a straight face. Crafts are bad enough because glitter. Crafts by flashlight–with all due respect to Pinterest– are my own personal nightmare.

So, settle in for some old-fashioned family time. Here’s hoping the patter of the sleet on the roof is not drowned out by the whining underneath it. Cheers!



Maureen lives outside Washington DC with her husband, 3 boys and her dog, the only one who really understands her. She shamelessly exploits the chaos of her everyday life for enjoyment and profit. She loves 80's music, Miller Lite and reality TV. She is rarely without a koozie in case someone is kind enough to offer a beverage. Maureen can be found blogging at Montgomery Community Media, in her column for the Town Courier Newspapers as well as online at Scary Mommy, the Mid and more.

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