The east coast has been hit the hardest this winter. With many areas enveloped under a thick mound of snow, schools have been cancelled and kids and parents are hunkered down.
Snow days are equally awesome and miserable. Yes, everyone gets to sleep in a little longer, and those lazy days are often spent playing out in the snow, sipping hot chocolate or coffee and watching movies. But as everyone who lives in hard hit areas of the country knows too well, the novelty of snow days often wears thin after a few days.
Of course, there also is another family member affected by those days spent snowed in-the pets! Dogs especially thrive on routine, but they also love their humans. For pets, snow days are also a welcome change…but can became stressful if the weather begins to change their happy daily routines.
Keep kids and pets entertained and stress-free during extended snow days by planning lots of kid friendly and pet friendly activities both outdoors and indoors!
Dogs love snow. They are intrigued by it, and, of course, love to try to eat it. Dogs are a lot like furry kids, and they just want to play and have fun. Play snowball fetch with dogs to keep everyone active. Instruct kids to make snow balls and toss them in a game of fetch. Just make sure not to throw snowballs at furry friends!
Dogs love their playtime, and snow forts are fun new spaces for dogs as well as kids. Let dogs tag along with kids as they build and create snow forts or igloos. Of course, dogs will want to investigate the new shelter with their human siblings. Be sure to bring pets indoors if they are shivering or show signs of being worn out from the weather.
Bundle up the puppy and the kids and head outdoors for a winter walk. Investigate the snow-covered paths in woods or just take a stroll around the block. Make sure to keep kids and pets off of the ice—even dogs can slip and sustain an injury.
Hide the Treats
Dogs love to discover and uncover new treasures. PetMD recommends stimulating a dog’s discovery instincts by hiding a few treats for them to sniff out around the house.
Kids love to create. During a snow day, make a plan to bake cookies—for the family and the dog. Homemade puppy treats are nutritious and a wonderful reward for the family’s favorite furry friend. Create pet-friendly cookie sandwiches by putting a dollop of peanut butter between two homemade dog treats. The Kitchen has several healthy and easy dog cookie recipes that kids can bake up at home.
Teach a young dog or a puppy “in” and “out” by using a hula hoop! According to the web site Dogproblems.com, the hula hoop teaches dogs about boundaries and barriers. And, yes, kids might also find it fun to instruct the dog to jump through a hula hoop! Parents can also make use of the hoop by getting kids to do a bit of hooping for indoor exercise. The family that hoops together does stay together…including the furry members.
Create an obstacle course
Kids can set up their own indoor obstacle course for lots of crazy fun…and exercise. Stack pillows, use pool noodles to create hurdles, crawl under chairs…the options are endless. The dog will absolutely join in on the fun, and kids should encourage furry participation!
As the snow stacks up in areas of the country, find ways to keep kids and pets entertained and busy. While snow days lead to lots of rest, relaxation and—let’s face it—some laziness, make sure kids and pets get moving by creating fun outdoor and indoor activities. And enjoy the time off without climbing the walls!
Amber Kingsley is a former art history student turned freelance writer who lives in Santa Monica, CA. This travel junkie has a goal to visit every country in the world. She has backpacked through Europe and South America with an eye on conquering Asia next. This peppy, perky writer loves pets, photography, and music.