Snow days are a rite of passage in childhood. Or, in Oklahoma, ice days. Either way you spin it, snow days are a huge part of growing up. We know that our kids are growing up in a digital age where technology is constantly at their fingertips. That coupled with the sudden onslaught of Zoom, GoogleMeet, and Canvas has caused a shift in the snow days we’ve memorialized. More and more school districts are coming out and predicting the end of snow days altogether.
But you know what? Snow days are crucial, and here’s why:
Think back on your own wintery days of childhood. I’m sure some of the first memories that pop up are snowball fights, snowman building, and lots and lots of layers. Our kids deserve these memories. The warm feeling of hot chocolate in front of a fire; the closeness of snuggles on the couch watching all your family’s favorite movies; the hot bowl of soup or steaming mug of Spaghetti-O’s filling a frozen tummy. Those are the memories our kids deserve.
If there’s a single group of humans that have shown more resilience during this crazy time, it’s our children. They have had their lives uprooted, completely turned upside down. And they’ve been champs through it all. They’ve stayed home when we’ve asked them to, quit sports and arts when they were canceled, rearranged their entire way of going to school, and even skipped the playgrounds when they were shut down. They’ve rolled with the punches this pandemic has thrown, every step of the way. They deserve something that’s reminiscent of normal; they deserve a break from the upheaval of their worlds.
If there’s another group of humans that have shown exceptional tenacity, it’s our teachers. They’ve completely relearned how to deliver lessons, create assignments, teach the same lesson twice a week, and how to do it all while still making our kids feel safe and happy in their classrooms. They go to class every day with smiles under their masks and make sure their students feel supported at school. Virtual snow days throw a huge curveball in their plans and make them scramble around to get their lessons online so their students can still learn from home. I can’t imagine the stress that causes them. They deserve a break from all of the burdens and strain that teaching through a pandemic has triggered.
Do you know who else deserves a MUCH needed break from virtual school on the random snow days? Parents. There are good days of virtual school with your kids, and there are ROUGH days of virtual school with your kids. Parents need a good snow day so they can reconnect with their kids, snuggle with them, play with them. Mental health is so important, and a short break from teaching your own kids can help immensely.
Ask any child specialist what the most important aspect of childhood is and they’ll tell you–play. Snow days provide endless opportunities for kids to use imaginative, unstructured play. Kids need that, they THRIVE on that. Snow days are such a perfect chance for our kids to reclaim a little time where they can just be kids.
So let’s give everyone a snow day (or ice day). Instead of taking away something else in a time where everything has changed, let’s allow our kids to keep this one part of childhood. Sure, we have the capacity to end the need for snow days, but is it absolutely necessary? There are so many benefits that outweigh that one missed day, and I’m certain we all deserve a snow day.