For kids, there's no greater joy of Winter weather than that of the 6 a.m. phone call announcing "School's closed!" For parents, it's all fun and games, for about the first two hours. Then we're reminded that sticking to a schedule's a good thing — for everyone. If snow and ice have kept your family cooped up over the past few days (with plenty more on the horizon), we have a few tips and tricks that will keep you all sane and smiling next time the weather outside is frightful.
Source: Flickr user Jesse Millan 
Bundle Up and Venture Outside — but Only Once
This is really only applicable if your kids are little (once they're old enough to venture outside alone, let them go for it all day if they want!), but it's a biggie. Getting all of that Winter weather gear on, then taking it off again 30 minutes later, is a major headache. It's worth it for some fresh air and classic snow-day fun, but restricting your outdoor adventures to just one "bundle up" session a day is a major sanity saver.
As soon as you get wind of potentially paralyzing weather, phone a friend with kids the same age as your own and suggest putting together a selection of their toys to swap for a few days. Do it while they're sleeping to avoid questioning, and keep the whole thing a surprise.
After you've all been stuck inside for a few hours, show them their new (temporary) acquisitions. Voilà, it's Christmas in February, and it's free!
Reinvent the Wheel
Pull inspiration from our megalist of 111 indoor activities  and try something new instead of sticking to your usual repertoire of after-school or weekend mornings.
Be a Good Neighbor
If your kids are old enough to do so, then bundle up and shovel the walkway and driveway of an elderly neighbor's house. It's good exercise for you and your kids and an act of kindness that will surely be appreciated.
If your children are too little to shovel, consider having them help out with baking cookies or a hot dinner for said neighbors instead.
On a Snow Day, Screen Time = Quality Time
Relax your typical screen-time rules on a snow day and take advantage of all being stuck home together to discover a new favorite family flick .
Every now and then, laziness is bliss. If not on a snow day, then when!?
Mandate Quiet Time
If you have babies or toddlers, it's called naptime. If your kids are a bit older, give them a set amount of afternoon quiet time to read or play quietly in their bedrooms. For overwhelmed parents who would normally be in the office (or working from home with a sitter), trying to get some work done from home, this will be a game changer. For everyone else, it's a total sanity saver.