With schools closed, employees of many non-essential workplaces going remote and social distancing orders in place, it’s been a challenge to keep everyone happy and occupied while safe at home. The term “cabin fever” may be an understatement to describe how you and your family might be feeling as winter has given way to spring!
Sticking to a schedule may help relieve some of those pent-up emotions. A schedule can keep things running efficiently at home and may ease the stress of the new stay-at-home routine you and your family are following. Following a schedule and adding fun activities can reduce the symptoms of cabin fever.
There are lots of activities families can do at home, and asking the kids for ideas will help you think outside of the box. Here are some kid-friendly favorites to get you started:
1. Make a Fort
Put those empty boxes out in the garage to use! Cardboard boxes are an awesome and inexpensive way to keep kids entertained. Or…grab some sheets, blankets and couch cushions to build a castle in the living room.
2. Setup a Treasure Hunt
Treasure hunts are pretty easy and, depending on how many items the kids have to find, could last a while. Hide between 10-20 items around the house or outside in the yard to keep kids occupied for a few hours.
3. Cook and Bake Together
Spending time in the kitchen with kids can be a great home economic lesson. Not only can you incorporate math through measurements, you can also mix in geography with a recipe’s ingredients. Research some kid-friendly recipes to make for dinner and bake a dessert. From homemade pizza to a pan of lasagna or a pot of chicken soup, cooking with the kids creates fun memories and teaches them life skills too!
4. Have a Picnic Inside
Grab a blanket, some food and enjoy a living room picnic – without the ants. You can also play that memory game: “I’m going to a picnic and I’m bringing…” Each person takes turns remembering the order of what everyone is bringing and then adds one thing on their turn.
5. Train the Dog
If the family dog doesn’t know how to sit or stay, this is a good starting point. Once your pup is ready to move onto more complex tricks like down and roll-over, try to focus on training an hour a day.
6. Make your Own Play Dough
Need a recipe? Here’s one from I Heart Naptime. All you need are quart-sized plastic bags, all-purpose flour, salt, cream of tartar, water, veggie or coconut oil and food coloring. And, the most important ingredient: a dash of imagination!
7. Spring Clean and Organize with Bingo
With everyone at home, the house is bound to get messy, and pretty quickly. Make a game out of cleaning up with chores bingo! Squares can include “put away your clothes,” “make your bed,” “put the dishes in the sink,” etc.
8. Break Out the Board Games, Deck of Cards and Puzzles
Scrabble, Monopoly, Candy Land, Rummy, War, Go Fish, Uno, Old Maid…and don’t forget jigsaw puzzles! Any game you can think of will help keep the kids engaged!
9. Have a Paint Night
Grab some canvases, brushes, and paints for a paint night at home. Let the kids get creative!
10. Dance, Meditate and Get Moving
GoNoodle encourages kids to get moving, whether it’s by dancing, meditating or just jumping around with the whole family!
11. Do Yoga
Check out Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube. They have all kinds of yoga routines for kids. You can even do yoga together as a family!
12. Create a Self-Portrait
To keep things simple, the self-portrait can be made with crayons, colored pencils or markers. But if you want to take things up a notch and get crafty, use candy, pasta, buttons, or anything else you can find!
13. Listen to a Story Read by an Astronaut in Space
Check out Storytime From Space where NASA astronauts read stories to kids from space. It’s sure not like any other kind of story time!
14. Try Origami
Learn how to make a ton of origamis: dinosaurs, swans, frogs, and more.
15. Practice Instruments
If your kids are learning how to play an instrument, make sure they practice each day.
16. Make a Sticker Book
Paper? Check. Stickers? Check. Staples? Check. Make a sticker book then decorate it.
17. Take a Virtual Tour of National Parks
With Google Maps, you can take a virtual tour of national parks all over the country. By scrolling over the different terrains and clicking on places of interest, it feels like you’re actually there! Some great national parks to tour are Acadia National Park in Maine, Arches National Park in Utah, Badlands National Park in South Dakota and Sequoia National Park in California.
18. Create Pasta Jewelry
Paint it, thread it, and then wear it.
As you navigate through this difficult time and adjust to this temporary situation, start incorporating a few of these activities into your family’s new routine. Doing fun things together will help you get through this together! How we manage our stress and anxiety as adults has a big impact on our children.
Try to keep your worries in check with these ideas to help you manage your own cabin fever:
19. Practice Mindfulness
Do a quick search on YouTube, use an app or just sit quietly to help quiet your thoughts
20. Join a Book Club
Reading is a popular one during these quarantined days. To make it even more exciting, join an online book club to discuss the books you’ve read.
21. Listen to Podcasts
There are tons of podcasts out there on just about any topic you’re interested in. Do some research, find which ones appeal to you the most and just sit back and listen!
22. Make a Vision Board
Print out pictures from Pinterest or Google or cut out pictures from some old magazines and adhere them to a poster board or computer paper. Fill your board with images of what you want this year to be, then hang it on the fridge or somewhere where you will see it everyday.
23. Learn How to Knit or Crochet
Need help? Ravelry is a free resource for knitters and crocheters, no matter what your skill level is.