It’s wonderful when the kids reach school age and you’re working at home. Suddenly you have all this time to work on your job or home business. But then winter comes, and sometimes that means you get hit by a snow day.

Unlike regular school holidays and weekends, you don’t always get much warning for a snow day. The weather gives you some hints as to what may happen, but you don’t know until you check in the morning. If snow days are a normal part of your student’s school year, you need to have plans in place so you don’t lose more work time than you’re willing to give up. You might want to play in the snow too, time permitting.

Plan Ahead

Planning ahead for snow day activities will help you to cut down on lost productivity. What can the kids do when they aren’t at school on a day you’d normally be working? How much can you reasonably expect to get done?

Have several activities planned that the kids can do. They probably won’t want to play in the snow all day, although that may take up a part of the day.

Snow days are special to kids, so keep it fun for the most part. You may get some great ideas for things the kids can do when its snowing just by asking them in advance what they would like to do when it has snowed too much for them to go to school.

Remember the television and computer for the kids too. They may be quite content to take it as a day to veg out. Just make it a special day without the usual limits on screen time if you like. An occasional day of too much television probably won’t hurt them.

Get Help

If the snow is bad enough that your spouse is home, enlist some help in caring for the kids. There’s no rule saying you have to do it all just because you’re the one who’s usually home with them. If your spouse has an extra day off because he or she can’t get to work, make sure they understand that you are at your work and need to work, so they get to deal with the kids. Tell the kids the same.

If you have local enough family or friends who would be willing to take the kids for the day, that’s another option. This may not be possible if the snow is severe enough, of course.

You may also want to invite a friend over for your kids. So long as the situation doesn’t cause a lot of arguments, having an extra kid over can actually help. It keeps the kids from asking you for things to do.

Consider Taking the Day Off

If the kids are going to interfere too much with productivity, consider taking the day off. You may be able to make it up over the weekend, or just think of it as a plain old day off. Especially if you’re working for yourself and don’t have any immediate deadlines, there’s no reason to not enjoy the day a bit yourself.

Don’t take it off if it’s going to make things too hard for you later. Sometimes you really need to work. If that’s the case, find a way to make it happen.

This may include taking the daytime off, but staying up and working into the night. For some people that’s the better work option anyhow, but if that’s not your habit it can be a tough choice to make.