This morning I woke up to the heartening sounds of Little Maddie and Amanda Rose running through the house shouting, “It’s snowing! It’s snowing!” There are so few pleasures left to the little ones these days that the first snowfall is always cause for celebration. A blanket of fresh white snow can make even the most barren post-apocalyptic landscape look like a wonderland.
As a little girl growing up in Vermont, we would spend hours sledding and building snowmen until our hands felt like they might fall off (a reality now for our undead foes). I want the junior survivors to be able to have the same fun I did but the constant threat of zeds can make this a challenge. Of course in the dead of winter the undead freeze (turning into znowmen), but at the beginning of winter they are just slowed down a bit by the winter chill making it imperative that we stay on our guard when we are outside. Here are a few of my favorite winter activities and safety tips to make your first snowfall a zero casualty event!
Sledding was always my favorite winter activity as a little one and we are lucky enough to have a perfect sledding hill near our current shelter. Of course the fact that we have no proper sleds doesn’t stop us! My thought is: if you can sit on it, you can sled on it. I have found a piece of cardboard inside a garage bag is perfect for this purpose.
Of course, always make sure that either your shelter is at the bottom of the hill, or you have a way for the children to climb up quickly, such as a rope tied to a tree at the top of the hill that the little ones can climb. Their little legs are not always a match for the shuffling hordes (despite their junior survivor training).
Traditional snowmen (not to be confused with znowmen) are a great group activity for children. They learn to work together and start to recognize who among them are the most able-bodied. However, fun and festive as these guys are, they can also serve a purpose in protecting the group as well. Zeds have been known to attack unsuspecting snowmen (the unwashed hats, scarves and corn cob pipes seem to confuse their tracking abilities). Strategically place these frozen decoys around the perimeter and the menfolk can easily pick the zombies off as that try to gnaw on the snowmen’s frozen brains.
One popular game for teenagers is snowball fights. At first, we encouraged the playful battles as it built strength and improved aim. However, last year we lost 17 year old Willow when a stray snowball hit her in the eye. The poor thing was blinded with snow and never saw the zedhead coming up on her right. After that the older kids were allowed to lob snowballs at the ghouls, but a strict no snowball fight policy was imposed on the children.