There’s something peaceful about sitting inside by the fire, sipping hot cocoa and watching the snow fall silently through the window. But if you’ve got kids, the reality of the situation may be quite the opposite. Because when cabin fever sets in, chaos can break lose. If you’ve hit your tablet/TV screen time max, not to worry! We’ve got some great tips on how to keep your family from going crazy this winter — without turning you into couch potatoes.
Spending time in the kitchen can be educational and yummy! Try making hot cocoa from scratch or use your freshly fallen snow to make some delicious ice cream for dessert. Bake a batch of muffins. Whatever you decide to cook, give the kiddos a turn to measure, count, mix and even lick the bowl.
Whip out the glue sticks and try your hand at one of many arts and crafts projects on Pinterest. There are tons of ideas here (we really like the cotton ball snowmen). Before trying a craft with your little ones, give it a try first to make sure it’s not too complicated for them to enjoy. If your kids are older, try a fun and vintage-feeling activity like knitting or cross-stitch to keep them busy during those long winter days.
Get Active — Winter Style
Cooking and crafting not high intensity for your fam? Research shows that kids burn half the number of calories during the winter as they do in the summer months. Calories aside, that’s a lot of energy to channel elsewhere.There are plenty of indoor place —with HEAT—where your kids can burn off some of that extra energy. Try an indoor rock climbing gym or trampoline park. You can also do a little DIY to create an indoor obstacle course, or take on the role of yoga instructor and lead the family in a sun salutation. Just a couple of hours of activity might tire everyone out enough so you can actually enjoy some hot cocoa by the fire later… or at least it’s worth try.
Play in the Snow
Sure, the snow can be cumbersome, but it can also be so much FUN! Making snowmen, snowball fights, sledding, skiing, ice skating. Pick a warmer (ha!) winter day, bundle up and head outside. Just remember: Safety is super important with any activity — especially when the temperature drops. Check out these winter safety tips before you hit the slopes, ice or snow banks.
Put on Your Game Face
This is the perfect time to pull out the board games! Let each kid take turns picking their favorite or have an all-day tournament-style competition. You can even turn winter things into a game. Have your kids guess how much snow you’ll get during a snowy day and reward the closest guess. Or guess the temperature. At the end of the day it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about spending time together (though we admit, we like to win more than we like to lose).
The best way to warm up during the cold winter months is to do something that helps someone else. Team up with your kids to shovel your neighbor’s driveway. Have your kids help organize a coat drive. Or volunteer at a food pantry together. They’ll learn important lessons in compassion and service, and you’ll still get quality time as a family. Volunteer Match is a great resource for finding age-appropriate volunteer opportunities in your area.
Fighting boredom and staying active during the winter isn’t impossible, it just takes a little creativity. What does your family do to avoid cabin fever? Tell us in the comments!