Don't let cabin fever happen to you and your family!

By Anne Brock of Flour Sack Mama

Many of you have already experienced bitterly cold temperatures, some of you have seen mountains of snowfall in your own backyards, and winter is far from over. When the snow days that thrill kids send parents to the edge, how will you be conquering cabin fever?

You’re probably bundling up and heading outdoors when safe to do so, soaking up at least a little sunshine on a cold winter day. Perhaps you have an indoor gym or other neighborhood gathering place for families. What about those days when it’s not even practical to leave the house?

Celebrate Snow
It might not be going away anytime soon, so celebrate it!

  • Freeze pieces of black construction paper, then put a tiny scoop of snow atop the paper and examine snowflakes indoors with a magnifying glass.
  • Fold any white paper you have into quarters, fold again into a triangle, then start cutting designs into your own unique paper snowflakes.
  • Use vintage paper maps to create the backdrop for your child’s own weathercast. They can use their snowflakes, glue on homemade raindrops and clouds, then add temperature readings. Record short home videos of each one playing meteorologist.

Find Rhythm & Harmony
Music offers a creative outlet for pent-up energy; try the unplugged kind.

  • Children love drumming! Let them, even if just for a while. Use toy drums or an empty oatmeal canister.
  • Reuse materials like empty yogurt containers with dried beans and other craft supplies to create unusual instruments.
  • Encourage kids to write their own fun poems about the weather or a silly topic of their choice. Take turns sharing them aloud, with or without their drums.

Get Sporty
So, you don’t allow running in the house. How else can the kids get the wiggles out?

  • Stretch, stretch, stretch! Whether you do yoga together or just reach for the clouds, everyone can stretch together, no matter what age.
  • Turn your hallway into a bowling alley. Our family discovered that YoKids Smoothies bottles work well as bowling pins, along with a medium sized ball.
  • Have a dance party with kid-friendly music and Mom or Dad playing DJ!

Dream of Spring Gardening
Yes, the seasons will eventually change again. Will you be ready?

  • Shop seed catalogs. It’s not too early to order seeds for next year’s garden. With varieties like Rainbow carrots and Amazon Chocolate tomatoes, young gardeners can get enthused about choosing seeds, too. Don’t forget to choose some flower seeds for beauty and beneficial insects.
  • Consider indoor seed starting. You can save money or just have a fun science experiment by starting plants like tomatoes and peppers indoors from seed. Peruse the seed catalogs or online for supplies.
  • Map out your next garden. Where will you plant your favorite vegetables? Will you build a new raised bed? Perhaps you’ll need to rotate locations as part of your organic gardening plan. The kids can each draw their own garden map, adding real or imaginary sorts of plants.

You can conquer cabin fever! Good for you for allowing the kids to express their own creativity, stretch out the wiggles and explore science with you!