Whether it’s wearing your pajamas inside out or tucking a spoon under your pillow, there are dozens of snow day rituals out there. While the scientific community hasn’t weighed in on exactly how effective these methods are, one thing is certain: You’re never too old to pray for snow.
1. Put a spoon under your pillow.
This is one of the older snow day rituals in the US, and it’s a common one throughout the East Coast. You can use a teaspoon or soup spoon—it doesn’t matter too much (Bluebird Backcountry Storytelling Lead Corey Buhay says she sometimes made do with a wooden spoon growing up in Georgia.) But why not throw in the whole cutlery drawer just to play it safe?
2. Wear your pajamas inside out.
This is another common East Coast tradition (some suspect it originated in New Jersey) and a tried-and-true method for coaxing enough snowfall to cancel school. Want to go the extra mile? Some recommend wearing your PJs both inside out and backwards.
3. Flush ice cubes down the toilet
This snow day ritual is a Midwestern classic. “Growing up in Ohio, our tried and true method was flushing ice cubes down the toilet and then doing a snow dance,” says Bluebird Ad Wrangler Erin Moeller. Some recommend flushing a cube for every inch you want. Some say a cube for every snow day. (Maybe flush 18 or so just to be sure?)
4. Do a Snow Dance
People have been dancing to manifest weather since time immemorial, but the American version of the snow dance may have its roots in Native American tradition. In fact, traditional dances have been followed by significant snowfall both in the Lake Tahoe region and in Vail, Colorado.
5. Put a white crayon in the freezer.
The crayon trick has some interesting regional variations. Some recommend leaving it in the freezer overnight, while others swear by tucking the crayon under your pillow just before bed. Others say you’ve got to put it on a windowsill. Regardless, we recommend waiting for the kids to fall asleep before pillaging their school supplies.
6. Stack coins on the windowsill.
Some folks swear by taping a quarter to the window or stacking pennies on your windowsill. We’re not sure where this one originated, but we like the quantitative component: Legend has it that you’ll get an inch of snow for every penny you stack.
7. Eat ice cream the night before.
We had a hard time confirming the regional origin or the success rate for this snow day ritual. But what does it matter? We’ll always take another excuse to eat ice cream.