Beating Cabin Fever with Kids

by Kristen White on Thursday, December 29, 2011

This article is courtesy of ParentLife magazine.

To the tune of "Home on the Range": Home, home another day; the skies are cloudy and gray; the kids will not sit, there are no more craft kits, and the wind is too whipping to play. When the first winter school cancellation keeps you home, you thank God for the downtime. After several weeks of overcast days, boredom hits. Try some simple activities to get off the couch and make memories.

  • Get out puppets or costumes and act out favorite Bible stories or children's books.
  • Learn a new board game or play an old favorite.
  • Work on a puzzle together. Use a card table so you won't have to put the work-in-progress away prematurely.
  • Read a family novel. Mom or Dad can read one or several chapters every time a school day or event is cancelled. Be sure to pull out blankets and make popcorn to make reading time something to look forward to.
  • Make exercise flash cards together. Draw stick figures and write words indicating which exercise to do, such as five sit-ups or 10 jumping jacks. Play with the cards in different ways throughout winter - hide them around the room and find them or let someone draw which ones to do.
  • Work on a handcrafted item together, such as sewing a baby quilt, crocheting a scarf, or assembling a birdhouse.
  • Create an age-friendly scavenger hunt (indoors or outdoors).
  • Learn a new song together as a family - von Trapp style!
  • Have "brain blizzards." See who can think of the most crazy uses for winter gear, such as boots, snow shovels, or even snow.
  • Make snow angels. If you live where there is no snow, purchase instant snow at an educational store and have fun experimenting with it.

When life gives you lemons

Winter months are citrus season. Watch for specials on oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and limes.

  • Make fresh lemonade.
  • Make a citrus salad. Teach your child how to peel, separate, and slice the fruit and stir 3 to 4 cups of several kinds together with ½ cup of sour cream and ½ cup of whipped topping.
  • Slice citrus in half. Make prints by dipping the sliced fruit face into fingerpaint and pressing it onto paper.
  • Have a smelling and tasting contest - blindfolded!

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