RealManage Insight

Snow Day : How to Prepare for Your Local School's Next Snow Day

by Mary Arnold, CMCA®, AMS® on Dec 16, 2021 9:38:00 AM

Snow Day in the HOA

One of the best aspects of living in a family-friendly HOA community is that children have pals with whom to play. Those buddies are always just down the block, and there are always new acquaintances waiting to get made at the neighborhood park. While after school is an excellent time for the kids in the community, the winter brings a new and exciting problem for the HOA board: snow days.

 

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When the snowfall is heavy enough to delay buses and keep children at home, what do you do? Plan ahead of time to wow the parents while supporting their snow-obsessed children safe. Any HOA can create a snow day strategy that is ready to go the first time your local school district says "No School Today, Time to Play."

Have a Fun & Safe Day Pre-Planned for Snow

A snow day is a day off for children when snow falls from the sky. Of course, it cannot be predicted or anticipated. But when this happens, all the youngsters want to do is go outdoors and play. After all, the snow is finally heavy enough for a beautiful snowman, snowball fight, and sledding session, all in one delightful afternoon.

Your HOA can plan ahead of time by establishing safety protocols and fun events. Create a plan and collaborate with parents to ensure that all of your neighborhood children have a pleasant and safe first snow day of the year.

Children At Play Signage

Prepare your signage. When the roads are hardly visible between the curbs, children pay less attention to staying out of the streets. So, if you know that neighborhood kids will be dashing from homes to parks and field areas, make sure to put up those signs first thing in the morning. Remind drowsy commuters to keep an eye out for toddlers ready to fling snowballs at first light.

Snow Day Supervision Signup

Set up a sign-up sheet for parents and neighbors to supervise children during a snow day. Allow parents to opt for a one-day professional childcare service instead. This will not only keep your outside places supervised, but it will also allow parents to plan to babysit so that those who must drive to work can rest confident that their children are secure with trustworthy friends, neighbors, or professionals. 

Snowman Building Zone

Designate one of your community's fields as a "Snowman Building Zone." Allow children to roll up large balls of snow and supply accessible (low-cost) items such as chunks of coal and large carrots for them to build snowman faces with. Not only will this be fantastic fun for the youngsters, but it will also serve as community decoration!

Watch as children make their first snowmen and experienced snowman builders create snow sceneries worthy of a Calvin and Hobbes comic.

Designate a Sledding Hill

On a snow day, you can bet the youngsters in the neighborhood will seek a place to sled. To avoid bruised knees and smashed trashcan lids:

  1. Choose the safest sledding slope in your region before the fun begins.
  2. Place a sign and brightly colored rope to mark the sledding track.
  3. Make sure there's an extended slow-down area or pile up extra snow for a safe crash-bank so that everyone's sledding adventure ends in a safe, entertaining way. 

Posted Safe Snowball Fight Rules

Choose one of your soccer field areas (or a space where kids usually play ball) as the snowball battle zone. Make a large sign with a few friendly and vital snowball fight regulations. For example, always pack your snowballs loosely, never toss a snowball more giant than your head, and respect when a friend indicates they got done playing.
Work with your board to develop a safe and practical set of snowball regulations that kids will find easy to follow during the inevitable fight of flying fluffy ice.

Bring Out the Hot Cocoa Carafes

Bring cocoa to any children who congregate in the snow. Most HOA boards keep a few carafes in the clubhouse supply closet for community activities and coffee for board meetings. So fill those hot-beverage carafes with cocoa instead of coffee (maybe one coffee for the adults) and keep the kids toasty with a cocoa station near the playground.

Take-Home Arts & Crafts Kits

Crafts are a terrific way for youngsters to spend the end (or middle!) of a snow day when they are exhausted. Hand out treat packages with candy canes and art items to neighborhood youngsters so that they are just as happy to go home for crafts as they were to come out for snow. You may also use the clubhouse's interior as an art, craft, and cocoa station for kids to warm up, rest, and return to snowy play. 

Sponsor a Pen-Pal Matching Program

Last but not least, try assisting local children in starting a pen-pal program. Many youngsters practice their writing skills best when they have someone to write to and all children like receiving mail. Even (or perhaps especially) if it's from their new neighbor down the street. Assist children in signing up to be pen pals and then match them based on age and interests. You could inspire an entire generation of friendly neighborhood letters left pinned to doors and tucked into mailboxes.

Don't forget the one holiday we rarely plan for when arranging your HOA holiday plans. A snow day is a memorable holiday that may occur only once (or up to 15 times) per year for youngsters. So, amazing parents by turning the following school district snow day into a neighborhood event that your association's kids will never forget.

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