Snow days used to be days when kids would pull on their snow gear, burst out of doors and spend hours, if not all day save for lunch, sledding, skating, building snow forts, having snowball fights, and otherwise making their parents’ yards look like rival clans of Yeti had held wrestling tournaments there.
Drive through Manchester on a snow day, as we have done many times, and see how many children you can count. You will find some, but the neighborhoods will reveal rows upon rows of yards untrampled by a youth-sized snow boot. Neighborhoods where lots of children live will look as though the only one who dared disturb the snow was the plow guy.
It is cold. But it is always cold in New Hampshire in the winter. Generations ago the kids didn’t have high-tech gloves and coats rated to 20 below. They also didn’t have video games, television and the Internet to tempt their active imaginations (or parents where both families worked and the kids spent snow days at day care).
Electronic temptations used to provide a welcome break from hours spent playing outside, no matter the season. Even accounting for other factors, now the opposite seems true — the outdoors provide a brief break from hours spent before a flickering screen.