Do You Want To Build A Snow Fort?

IMG_5229Do you want to build a snowman?

Well, no, not really.

Actually, my kids would rather build a snow fort.

A huge, awesome, epic snow fort. Big enough to fend off an army of snow goons and abominable snowmen.

Some people view winter as a time to avoid outdoor activities. If they aren’t skiers, then they prefer to curl up next to a warm fire on a comfy couch, hibernating through the cold and snow until spring brings them out into the sun again.

That’s too bad, because winter can be filled with awesome family fun. It doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated, and it can even be right in your own backyard. Getting outside in the snow is a great time to make memories with your kids.

Especially the planning and construction of your very own snow fort.

Call it an igloo, or an ice palace, or a snow fort. Whatever it is, go beyond stacking up some snow, sticking a carrot in it, and calling it Frosty. Hey, building a snowman is fun, too, but an actual structure takes a lot more imagination. And, at the end, it becomes functional.

snow fort

My kids and I built this snow fort using a smooth plastic storage box to create blocks of tightly packed snow. We then stacked them up to about 4 feet, making parapets, windows, and secret doors along the way. They improvised as they built, and learned a few lessons about structural integrity. The nice thing about snow, you can change things up any time you want.

After a few hours, the kids had the idea to sleep in the fort that night, which they did, under a pile of quilts and blankets. I stayed out there with them, enjoying the warmth and comfort of our hand-built shelter.

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But as nice as it was, and as tough as I like to think I am, I would not have made it through the night without some help from Fisherman’s Friend, the strongest, most effective throat lozenge on the market. Originally formulated in 1865 for the deep-sea fishermen of Fleetwood, England, these extra strong, extra soothing lozenges are perfect for cough and cold relief. It’s exactly what you need to tough it out during the long winter months, when the cold wind seems to blow right down your throat every time you open your mouth.

I’ll never buy another brand of lozenge when I have a cough or cold. Fisherman’s Friend is the perfect all-natural menthol relief, available in cherry flavor and sugar free formula. They’re perfect for anyone over the age of 2 in need of instant relief of sore throats, coughs and congestion.

Whatever you do during the winter months, make sure you get outside. Build a snow fort! Okay, build a snowman too. Ski, snowshoe, dig tunnels, play disc golf, have a snowball fight. Just get outside and enjoy the snow. Carry a packet of Fisherman’s Friend lozenges and you’ll be tough enough to do anything.

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Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad and Fisherman’s Friend for this promotion.

The One and Only Snow Day

I realize that most of the world has been inundated with snow this winter, but here in North Idaho we’ve seen very little of it on the ground.

While it was nice to have the year off from shoveling the driveway and sliding around on the roads, we missed not having at least one decent snow day for having a bit of fun.

So, up to the higher altitudes we went on Saturday, seeking out the snow of Schweitzer Mountain in Sandpoint, Idaho, for a day of tubing and snowball fights.

It was a beautiful day for hanging out with the kids. We didn’t let the blood-gushing head injury at the end put a damper on our fun.

From here, I will let the pictures (and a video) do the talking.

Schweitzer skiers look out over Lake Pend Oreille

Schweitzer Ski Resort

Ready for tubing!

Down the hill

Schweitzer Sunset

Schweitzer Sunset

Ending the day with an owie

The Big Snow

Winter is officially no fun for me anymore. I stepped outside our front door the other night and suddenly found myself sprawled flat on my back, my head bouncing off the icy concrete steps.

And there I lay for five hours until somebody came looking for me. Well, that was my first thought, but then I remembered my cell phone and called inside for someone to come scrape me off the sidewalk.

Turns out I have a tough skull, and I only saved my back by somehow sticking both hands out behind me to break my fall.

This winter’s snowfall has shattered all records for my town, with over 130 inches falling to the ground. It was fun at first, but now it’s just a pain. We have six-foot snow berms surrounding our driveway, and I’m starting to wonder if my basement project is going to turn into an indoor swimming pool this spring when all the snow melts. We’ll see how well the builders sealed our foundation. The roads around us are horribly bumpy with ice, and it’s wreaking havoc on my tire alignment. The roof of my house has thousands of pounds of snow piled up on it. I listen at night for the creaks and groans of collapsing trusses.

I’ve taken lots of pictures of the snow, and of the kids playing in it, because it’s definitely one for the memory books. I may not remember this last part of winter as being much fun, but my kids will look back on it as one of the best times of their lives. Sledding, building snow forts and snow men, digging tunnels and caves, having snowball fights with friends. They’ve packed enough memories into the past month to last a lifetime.