family blog6 Creative cheap ways to curb cabin fever

little girl with snow covered hands
Long weekend. Long winter. With the piles of snow covering many states right now and kids out of school, it’s up to parents and caregivers to get creative, especially if the roads aren't clear or there's more snow on the way. Here are some ideas to tweak your imagination from howdini and moms around the country:

Get outside!
Snow is creative!  Hold your own sculpture contest. They don't have to be big but try something other than a snowman. Snow-dog anyone?  Build forts and igloos, or micro-snow hills to pull sleds up and down. Whatever you do with your family will be fun. Karen Johnson-Taylor, who lives near Boston has seen more snow this year than in a long time, says she always finds time to explore outside even in the cold. “Who cares if putting on snow gear takes longer than time spent outside. “It’s fun for them, passes the time and you’ve all earned a hot cocoa break!”

Indoors: Get down on the floor!
That’s right. Do your kids have Lego or Playmobil or other small-piece sets? (or even Barbie Dolls/G.I. Joes for that matter?) Pull out stuff that hasn’t been used in a while. Clear a large area of open space and join the kids on the floor creating imaginary worlds. Construction paper, cardboard boxes and other crafts might help. Don’t make them pack it all away at the end of the day. Instead, keep working on it over the break.

Get messy!
That’s the message from Young Urban Moms blogger Carolina Pichardo, mom of 2 and a New York City resident. Says she pulls out all their craft materials and jumpstarts her daughter’s imagination. With nothing scheduled there’s plenty of time to experiment and get messy.

Get moving!
While Karen Johnson-Taylor loves to get outdoors with her children, she says there's lots to do indoors. Her suggestions include building indoor forts, holding family Wii tournaments and spontaneous dance parties. They not only fill time but keep everyone moving and laughing.

Find time to relax
Tina Giovannucci of Allegan, MI says baking with her three children is high on her list but her family also enjoys “pajama day parties” where there’s no rush to put on clothes to go outside, especially when a few feet of snow are piled outside the door.

Her sister-in-law, Erin Giovannucci from Hudson, NY, says Lego building races are a good choice for her two competitive boys–that’s after she tires them out shoveling snow.

And, one more thought–organize your time. Think through how you will spend your day or days. Lara Galloway of Chicago, known as Mom Biz Coach and mother of two suggests, "Together, create a plan to include blocks of active time, quiet time and "together time." This method may keep kids from getting bored with one another as well.

more snow and cold tips here
winter first aid–know the signs of frostbite
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