The uninviting cold of winter has barely settled in and your kid is already sending out smoke signals of intolerable boredom! Soccer practice has been paused, swim lessons are long forgotten, and days at the park are all but non-existent. Even school events seemed to have slowed to a snowy halt, leaving you scrambling for ways to occupy the kids without breaking the bank.
Last year around this time, my own family found ourselves with a relentless case of cabin fever. We were homebound often for one reason or another, and I found myself begging for a cure. In the end, we not only survived but thrived during that time. All it took was a little imagination and a lot of patience (and okay, maybe some Pinterest). You too can cure cabin fever with these boredom busters for rainy, snowy or just plain dreary days.
Sensory play is a preschooler’s dreamland. The best part might be that you can use just about anything you have on hand at home, so you don’t have to venture out into the frigid temps. Some budget-friendly ideas include a large, shallow bin filled with cornmeal, rice or dried beans, or homemade cloud dough. Just use measuring cups for scooping and pouring!
Chilly winter days are the perfect time for kids to try a new art medium, like modeling clay, or canvas and acrylics. You can even teach older kids to knit or crochet. Take advantage of the long days inside by helping your kids learn to exercise their creativity. Instead of rushing to finish a specific craft, focus on the process and give them time to create (a kind of art known as process art). You might just be surprised by what they come up with.
You can have a scavenger hunt anywhere, even inside your house! Make a list of things for your kids to find, basing the difficulty on their abilities. For instance, younger tots may enjoy looking for certain colors and shapes while older kids can hunt for objects by solving riddles. To make the hunt more competitive, time the hunters and give the fastest finisher a special prize.
Make the suggestion that with a cleaner room (as in you can actually see the floor), the kids will likely discover some long lost and loved toys. Then again, we all know getting kids to clean up is usually worse than dealing with the whining about being bored, so I’ve found a few tips and tricks to make the process easier and more productive. I love this list of creative tips for making cleaning fun, and this post about teaching kids to clean is awesome because it gives great insight into why kids get stumped when it comes to cleaning up big messes like their bedrooms.
You need time to do all that mom stuff like laundry and scrubbing things that no one else in your family seems to know exist. But your kids are close to literally bouncing off the walls. It’s time to let a dose of screen time go to work on your kid’s cabin fever, but in the best way possible. I’m talking about exercise! Cosmic Kids Yoga has age appropriate, professionally produced yoga sessions, meditation videos and story time. This kids’ workout video is great for kids 4 & up who have extra energy to burn. They’ll love the games like Red Light Green Light cleverly combined with exercise. And Kidnetic has tons of awesome kid-invented games and fitness challenges to keep your kids moving.
Cabin fever doesn’t stand a chance. At least not when you’ve got these fun indoor activities to keep kids entertained. It will be spring before you know it!