12 Ways to Spend a Snowy Day

Leo's 33rd Month

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There was a time—last winter, when Leo was 1 ½—when we couldn't stay inside. Our colicky baby who required constant motion had turned into a kinetic toddler who made all of us melt down if we didn't leave the house early and often every day. Friends—mostly with daughters, but not exclusively—would mention weekends when they "lazed around together" or "did nothing." Not us. We had swim class. Open Gym. A membership to the children's museum, the hours of all the readings at all the libraries in Brooklyn and then there was our friend, the security guard at Key Food, and the diner with a parking lot and the play dates and...yeah, we didn't get a lot of nothing done last winter. Instead we invested in really good outerwear.

A year later, Leo can do stuff. Doing nothing is still a distant speck on the horizon—like maybe when he's a teenager? But doing something, for more than 5 minutes, opens a world of possibilities. Still, the cold weather has us reaching. What do you do with a kid when you're snowed/iced/rained in? Here are some of our recent approaches: Playdate telephone.

Make a lot of noise.

Make a tiny snowman.

Put a hat on the cat. Repeat.

Go for a snow swim out back with the downstairs neighbors.

Create a form of exercise involving a yoga mat, scarves and Carole King.

Build The Entire World. In your underwear.

Maple Snow! (drizzle fresh snow with syrup)

Playdate in Mommy and Daddy's bed.

Make a big snowman.

Make pipe cleaner accessories.

Subsist on pantry foods (see Mexican Rice Recipe).

Zoe Singer is a freelance food writer and cookbook editor and co-author of The Flexitarian Table. Food Editor and blogger for The Faster Times, she tries not to eat for two now that her son is a toddler.