Here in NC we got some actual snow this weekend. Well, we thought we were going to get snow, 4-6″ being predicted, so everyone ran around like crazy preparing for the North Carolina version of Snowmageddon. (Funny aside: based on what Itty Bitty and I saw Friday as the city prepared for snow, the most important things to buy when facing a “blizzard” are bananas, cucumbers, steaks, and booze. Everything else was still well stocked but not those four staples. Go figure.) Our city ended up with a few inches of sleet underneath an inch or two of snow, which naturally meant that everything shut down for 2 days while we recovered.
Even today, with the high climbing to 40º, pretty much all of the schools are closed and many businesses are operating on shortened hours. So everyone in our family has been home for days and by yesterday afternoon we started to get a little bit of cabin fever.
The DreadBrewer and I had bought ourselves a GrainFather as a Christmas gift to each other, which came packed in an enormous box with a vast quantity of packing peanuts, of which we had yet to dispose. As an incentive to get the big girls to nap without complaint (a Herculean task some days), I told them that there would be a super fun surprise for them to play with after nap, but only if they were good nappers. That was enough to get them to lie down and go straight to sleep. (Another aside: the incentive today is baking cookies post-nap, in case you were wondering. Whoever naps gets to make cookies, whoever doesn’t has to watch and drool.)
And this is what they woke up to:
It took them a few minutes to catch on that we were really going to let them play in that and make as big of a mess as they wanted, provided they followed the two rules: 1) Do NOT put the packing peanuts in your mouth and 2) we have to pick them ALL up when we’re done for the day. But once they understood that, LB and BIT were in it to win it.
For play and especially for clean up, the dust bins were absolutely essential; it was really fun to scoop up a ton of peanuts and shower them down on each other. The girls were kept happily occupied for a good 30-45 minutes playing and then it only took another 5 or so to get all of the peanuts back in the tub. I had planned on having them clean them up back into the box for disposal, but we’re not currently using that bathroom for anything (it’s usually our beer fermentation and root crop storage area), so we figured we’d let them play in them as long as we’re stuck home due to inclement weather.
Anything to keep small children occupied while stuck inside, right?