Tag Archives: snow

Preparing for Cold Weather

We’re in that time of year where Maryland temperatures start dipping a little lower. It can be 70°F (21°C) one day and 40°F (4°C) the next. This is a time when many people begin to opt for indoor activities instead of outdoor ones. With the pandemic, we may be rethinking that this year. CDC guidelines state that outdoor gatherings and activities are generally safer than indoor ones.

I recently heard a Scandinavian saying about this…

If you come from a warmer climate this may sound impossible to you. As a person who often complains of being cold when the rest of my family is comfortable, I definitely understand. But, I think this winter I will need to rethink that. I will need to push my boundaries of cold tolerance in order to be able to still see a few friends or family members outside or dine at an outside seating area. I encourage you to give outside a chance too.

One thing I have noticed in my years of working with au pairs is that the temperature difference is much easier on those who have a gradual adjustment. It allows your body time to adjust to the lower temperatures. So, that’s the good news for all of you who are already here. Your body is already getting adjusted, give your mind a chance to stay open to enjoying the outdoors.

The next thing to do is get yourself the proper clothing and accessories. Start shopping for cold weather clothing: sweater, coat, gloves, hat, scarf, long underwear & boots. Ask your host family if they have some you can use and then start looking out for sales and checking thrift shops for the rest. Take a look at what you already have and think of ways to layer it. A long sleeve t-shirt under a sweatshirt may be as warm as a jacket. A pair of leggings or tights under a pair of jeans adds a lot of warmth.

It may also help to remind yourself that people in other parts of the U.S. and other countries experience much colder temperatures than we do and are still able to enjoy the outdoors.

Pick your activities carefully. If you are sitting next to a fire pit or doing physical activity you will feel warmer. When you take the kids to the playground or out in the snow, don’t sit on the bench and watch. You will feel warmer and have more fun if you are actively involved and having fun with them.

If you have tips on enjoying the cold weather, please share them!

CONTEST: The first au pair in our cluster to message Christine or Lisa with their favorite cold weather activity will win a prize!

Image: Canva.com

9 Winter Driving Tips to Stay Safe in the Ice & Snow

The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it. Don’t go out until the snow plows and sanding trucks have had a chance to do their work, and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.

If you must drive in snowy conditions, make sure your car is prepared, and that you know how to handle road conditions. It’s a good idea to always keep at least a half tank of gas in your car, especially in winter months where you could get stranded. It’s helpful to practice winter driving techniques in a snowy, open parking lot, so you’re familiar with how your car handles. Consult your owner’s manual for tips specific to your vehicle.

Driving safely on icy roads

  1. Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
  2. Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
  3. Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
  4. Keep your lights and windshield clean.
  5. Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.
  6. Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
  7. Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
  8. Don’t pass snow plows and sanding trucks. The drivers have limited visibility, and you’re likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.
  9. Don’t assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.

Photo: Steve Pisano (Flickr)

9 Winter Driving Tips to Stay Safe in the Ice & Snow

The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it. Don’t go out until the snow plows and sanding trucks have had a chance to do their work, and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.

If you must drive in snowy conditions, make sure your car is prepared, and that you know how to handle road conditions. It’s a good idea to always keep at least a half tank of gas in your car, especially in winter months where you could get stranded. It’s helpful to practice winter driving techniques in a snowy, open parking lot, so you’re familiar with how your car handles. Consult your owner’s manual for tips specific to your vehicle.

Driving safely on icy roads

  1. Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
  2. Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
  3. Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
  4. Keep your lights and windshield clean.
  5. Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.
  6. Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
  7. Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
  8. Don’t pass snow plows and sanding trucks. The drivers have limited visibility, and you’re likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.
  9. Don’t assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.

Photo: Steve Pisano (Flickr)

8 Winter Driving Tips to Stay Safe in the Ice & Snow

Driving in the snow and ice can be a challenge even for experienced drivers. If you don’t have to go out in bad weather, stay home. If you do have to go out, here are some tips from AAA. Check out the full article on the AAA website.
8 Tips for driving in the snow:
  1. Accelerate and decelerate slowly.
  2. Drive slowly.
  3. The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds.
  4. Know your brakes.
  5. Don’t stop if you can avoid it.
  6. Don’t power up hills.
  7. Don’t stop going up a hill.
  8. Stay home (if at all possible.)

Photo: Steve Pisano (Flickr)

Winter Driving Tips

snow carDriving in the snow and ice can be a challenge even for experienced drivers. If you don’t have to
go out in bad weather, stay home. If you do have to go out, here are some tips from AAA. Check out the full article on the AAA website.
Tips for driving in the snow:
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. …
  • Drive slowly. …
  • The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. …
  • Know your brakes. …
  • Don’t stop if you can avoid it. …
  • Don’t power up hills. …
  • Don’t stop going up a hill. …
  • Stay home.

Photo: Steve Pisano (Flickr)

Snow Days are Here!

Looking for ideas to keep the kids busy on a snow day (when they are home from school for winter weather?)

Here is a simple snow day game plan…

  1. Play in the snow. Do you wanna build a snowman? Here’s a great how-to video.
  2. Come inside and warm up with hot chocolate (don’t forget the marshmallows.)
  3. May your own play dough.
  4. Play board games or legos together.
  5. Ever heard of Snow Ice Cream? Great for freshly fallen snow.
  6. Look for more fun things to do on the APIA Pinterest Boards:
  7. Bake cookies together or make some other fun recipe.
  8. Play in the snow again.
  9. Warm up inside taking turns on the Make a Snowflake Website.
  10. Make a blanket fort.

Stay warm & have fun!

Photo: Tony Crider (Flickr)

Snow Ice Cream

snow ice creamMy kids are looking forward to the upcoming blizzard for many reasons, one of which is snow ice cream.  I only make it when we have a lot of snow, because you want to collect fresh clean snow and it needs to be deep enough that you are just getting snow.  Ask your host parents before you try it.  I don’t want anyone freaking out.

 

Here are two recipes I use to make it, depending on what kind of milk I have on hand.

snow ice cream

Yes, this is actual snow ice cream that I made using recipe #1!

Snow Ice Cream Recipe #1 (my favorite)

8 cups of fresh clean snow
1 (14oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine in a large bowl and enjoy.

Snow Ice Cream Recipe #2

8 cups of fresh clean snow
1/2 cup of evaporated milk (or regular milk)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine milk, sugar and vanilla extract until sugar is dissolved.  Then combine with snow.  Enjoy.

Another Awesome Snow Day!!!

snow day by tony crider

Looking for ideas to keep the kids busy on this snow day?

Here is a simple snow day game plan…

  1. Play in the snow
  2. Come inside and warm up with hot chocolate (don’t forget the marshmallows)
  3. Do some Snowflake Crafts
  4. Play board games or legos together
  5. Ever heard of Snow Ice Cream?
  6. Look for more fun things to do on the APIA Pinterest Boards
  7. Bake cookies together or make some other fun recipe
  8. Play in the snow again
  9. Warm up inside taking turns on the Make a Snowflake Website
  10. Make a blanket fort

Stay warm & have fun!

Photo: Tony Crider (Flickr)

Dressing for Winter Weather

This is a picture from 2010, Sandra and her host family out in the snow.

In our area it will be cold most of the winter and there could be snow, any time from now through March.  If you have not already bought a coat, hat, gloves and boots, you will wish that you had.

It does snow in Maryland and the host parents do expect that you will be outside rolling in the white stuff with the kids. Because we don’t get as much snow as the Alps — we freak out a little here when it does snow. School will be canceled for only one inch of snow. The girls from Germany and Austria will laugh. The kids get soooo excited by this event they will want to stay outside and use every inch of snow in the yard to build a snowman. We also have a cluster snow tubing trip coming up in the new year, you want to be prepared to join in the fun and stay warm.

There are a lot of great sales going on, look for coats and cold weather accessories. Some cheap options are: Ross, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Burlington Coat Factory, WalMart and Kohl’s. An even more affordable option would be to go to a thrift shop. There are many in the area and you can often find a very warm jacket for a small price compared to buying one new.

Dress in Layers – Consider buying sweaters, lightweight jackets and long underwear.  If you wear several layers, you can take off things to be comfortable.  For example when it might be too warm for a heavy jacket, but too cold for just a sweater, you can combine different pieces of clothing.

Set a Good Example – it is the expectation of  most host parents that you set the example for your kids and you wear a coat when it is cold outside. You should have a winter coat, hats, gloves, boots and scarves.  Your kids will fight wearing a coat if you don’t wear one. Think of yourself as a celebrity and everyone wants to look like you — especially your kids.

Check the “Emergency Change of Clothes” – With young children, we often keep an emergency change of clothes in the car, diaper bag or at their school. If you haven’t already switched out the shorts and t-shirt for something warmer, this would be a good idea.


Get yourself some warm winter clothes now. Prepare for the snow!

ABC's of Winter Fun

snowflake

A is for Art – try drawing, painting or gluing
B is for Baking – bake a dessert together for dinner
C is for Clay – Use non-hardening clay or play dough to shape and mold
D is for Dance – put on a lively tape
E is for Exercise – be sure to get some everyday
F is for Friends – invite some over
G is for Greenhouse – find a local greenhouse to visit to enjoy the sights and smells
H is for House – make a playhouse from a large appliance box
I is for Ice skating – take the children to a local rink
J is for Jigsaw puzzle – be sure to pick one that isn’t too difficult
K is for Kitchen science – try a safe experiment
L is for Library – borrow some new books
M is for Movie – make one with a video camera, or watch one
N is for Necklace – make one out of cereal or macaroni
O is for Origami – learn to make simple paper creations
P is for Puppets – socks make easy and fun puppets – put on a show!
Q is for Quiet Time – everyone needs some of this
R is for Reading aloud – choose a good book and a comfortable place to sit
S is for Seeds and Suet – put out food for the birds and watch them eat
T is for Tent – make one from old blankets and chairs
U is for Unplugged – do a day with no TV
V is for Variety – try something new everyday
W is for Walk – take one in any weather (be sure to dress appropriately)
X is for Xylophone – make your own with glasses, water and a metal spoon
Y is for Year – make a calendar or scrapbook to remember the year
Z is for Zoo – visit the animals