Thursday, January 28, 2016

Anti-Poverty Mom Snow Day Activities

I'm noticing today that some DC schools are still closed or delayed and I bet that's true for a lot more as well. Believe, me East Coasters...out here in the Midwest we know what you are going through. The first day is all about digging out and having some giddy snowball fights and sledding runs. The next days bring the celebration of children as the snow days continue and you think "Well, I have enough milk to make some more cocoa." Then, you're eventually tearing your hair out because it's no longer novel, the kids are starting to bicker, and you'd really rather be getting back to work as well.

So, here are my three favorite snow day activities that keep kids busy as the snow plows finish their excavation. You can use this time to help make the world a better place to live in when everyone is all dug out again!

#1 Write letters or pictures for Congress

A picture of a very sick girl with a crying mother
followed by a recovery picture where she is even
given a crown. What can I say? was the
princess phase. 
Always a favorite of mine. For younger kids, it's more of an arts and crafts project where you tell them about a subject and ask them to draw a picture of it while you write the real letter to Congress. For older kids, it can involve a bit of learning as well. It works best if you can show a video to either age group to make it real.

Here are a few great videos to show them about global health for kids. Ask your kids to draw a picture or write a letter about what they saw. Then, send it in to your US Representative asking them to "Please co-sign the Reach Every Mother and Child Act (HR 3706) to help save the lives of moms and kids using best practices like nutrition, immunizations, and care for moms before and after childbirth."

Don't know your representative? Look it up here

#2 Clean closets and look for donations 
This is such a good activity because it gets kids involved in giving in a way that is very personal. Plus, you will gain a lot of closet and dresser space! You need to do this anyway every year as your kids grow, so put them to work now. Gently used toys, clothes, shoes are always needed in any community. In the St Louis area, we have many families who were recently forced out of their homes by freak winter floods and need to quickly replace everything. A quick internet search or a call to a local house of worship can usually direct you to a place to donate. 

Still can't find a local place? Schoola is doing a fundraiser collecting used clothes and giving 40% of the proceeds from selling it to the Malala Fund to secure girls' rights to a minimum of 12 years of quality education, particularly in the Global South. Fill out the form on this link and they will send you a bag, postage-paid, to send back full of your old clothes.

On our last big snow day, we excavated 2 big garbage bags worth of treasures. I was rewarded with an incredulous daughter standing in her closet saying, "It's soooo big now!"

#3 Social Media Blizzard!
Get creative for your favorite organizations and tweet out pictures with their handles and hashtags. Print out signs or get messy and make pictures of an organization's logo with glitter and glue. You can even tweet messages to your members of Congress. The senators may not be in their offices now, but the internet is always open for business! Don't want your kids in the picture? No problem. You can just take a picture of the sign or put yourself in the picture.

There you go! And after you're done saving the world? Go on out and have a little more fun! Wheeeeee!