Monday, February 18, 2013

Relief from Cabin Fever
I know, Spring is around the corner! But until it gets here, we still have frigid temps, wind chills, and some parts of the country are buried under snow. So when your kids are stuck indoors and bored, here are a few ideas to relieve their cabin fever; 
  • Assemble an obstacle course
    Kids and empty boxes go together. Place some large empty boxes around the floor for your child to crawl in, on and through. Add more obstacles like a chair, step stool, soft pillows, large laundry baskets, etc. This is a terrific activity for using stored energy, motor skills and imagination.
  • Design a music band
    Kids make noise, so channel it! Make instruments for a marching band. Drums can be made from empty oatmeal boxes, coffee cans or a pot and wooden spoon. Cymbals can be created from lids of different sized pots or pans. Cover one side of a block with coarse sandpaper and rub two papered blocks together for sand blocks. Rhythm sticks can be made from two empty paper towel rolls or old newspaper rolled up and secured with masking tape. Now get out the kazoo. Research says that making music is one way to stimulate your tot’s brain development for future math skills.

  • Build blocks
    Bag blocks can be made by filling large grocery bags with crumpled newspaper. Stuff each bag full, fold over the open end of the bag, and tape it shut. Make several bag blocks – the more the better! These are fun for jumping or sitting on, tossing and rolling. Older children can help younger siblings make the bag blocks. You’ve just recycled and your tot has made inexpensive toys.

  • Pretend ocean play
    Fill your bathtub with blue water (a few drops of blue food coloring), throw in floating toys and watch your child’s imagination take off. No, the food coloring does not turn your little munchkin into a blue genie, nor does it stain the tub. Since kids love water, maybe you can persuade your little one to take off his clothes and jump in. This is a sneaky way to get ‘em clean. When my girls were toddlers and I wanted them to take a bath, there would often be an argument. To avoid the debate, I diverted their attention with, “Do you want your water pink or blue?”

  • Enjoy snow play
    Get outdoors and build a snowman, woman, child or fort. Take your camera and capture the memories. Then go indoors for a warm cup of cocoa and a foot rub or a book! Since the season of parenting is so short, make a photo album or scrapbook your snow memories.
Bottom Line: If your child is playing quietly - or least contentedly - don’t interrupt. I practice the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy in parenting. And be prepared to offer a couple of activities when the fever strikes.

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