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Cabin Fever


For me, being snowed in is a really wonderful time. The only real worry I have is about my husband if he is required to slush and sludge off to work each day. For the most part I like being snowed in with my family and a well stocked kitchen. BUT...let's face it - Kids are Human Too.

Our dear little ones have been known to get on our nerves a bit here and there. Here are a few ideas of what to do when that happens and you can't splash off to the park for an hour.

First rule of Cabin Fever Survival is Forewarned is Forearmed.
I find that having file folders tucked away in my desk with "neat things" in them is great in a pinch. If I feel like I'm starting to get cranky with them being cranky I can pull out something that is ready to go in an instant. One of my favorite places to get "neat things" is here.

Rule number two - Get Crafty.
I like to give my kids a pile of various supplies and just see what they come up with. This is the best way I have found to keep the craft bins from bulging over. It gets rid of small scraps of this and that too which is nice.

Have all the supplies needed for a given craft in a ziploc bag or a shoe box. Pull this out and watch them smile. I find that not having to hunt up supplies keeps everyone happy.

Rule number three - Snowed-in Traditions.
Create moments that can be looked forward to each year. Maybe something special that isn't done often in your house. Growing up I lived with my mom, a divorcee who worked VERY hard to support me. A snowed-in day was the perfect opportunity to pull out all of my crayons and coloring books. We'd sit all snuggled up with hot chocolate coloring and talking for hours with music playing.

Rule number four - Be Active.
We have an apartment so I know what it's like to have limited space to work with. I find that if you can't beat 'em then just jump into the thick of things and join 'em. When my two are getting to be pent up I usually chase them around for a pillow fight. ALL of our pillow fights degenerate into tickle battles. This works off a lot of steam and is very fun.

In 1996 we had something of a blizzard to the extent that my husband didn't have to report to work for about a week. I found that stretching each day was good for my muscles to prevent lactic acid build up. This is a great time to form a "rubbing train". Sit in a row with each person rubbing the person's back in front of them. After 10 minutes the person in the front goes to the back so everyone gets a turn.

Rule number five - Get Gaming!
Pull out those games, roll the dice and start having fun! Have a game marathon. Let's say you play Monopoly and tire of the game after 30 minutes. Leave everything where it is and come back to it later. As teens we did this with the game Risk. Usually after 2 weeks we'd finally have a winner :)

Make games of your own. Grab markers, stickers and file folders. Get input from the kids and let them help. These can be fun or educational. Ours are both! It passes the time pleasantly and games will be used again and again. 

And lastly, Get Cooking!
Kids love to be helpful in the kitchen and they can learn the importance of clean up too. Somehow a lunch or snack they helped make tastes extra good. I've noticed that foods my kids have shown no enthusiasm for are actually EATEN if they have a hand in making it. Zoom has plenty of ideas if you need them.


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