Cabin Fever Busters from A to Z
As cold weather comes, snow begins to fall, school is canceled and cabin fever sets in. With a little creativity, parents can conquer cabin fever using these ideas from A to Z:
But first, our favorite NEW Idea for Snowy Days... let your children
Paint the Snow!
How to: Simply fill a squirt bottle with water and a few drops of food coloring. Spray the snow for a painted effect. The kids will love it and this works even if the snow is too dry for snowballs!
B - Bubble Painting: Supplies: A tray for craft paper, tempera paint, liquid soap, drinking straw, thick paper. Instructions: Mix paint and a few drops of soap in the tray. Add water until you can blow bubbles. Use the straw to blow into the paint creating bubbles. Gently place paper on top of the bubbles. When the bubbles pop remove the paper and leave to dry. It will create a marbled effect on the paper.
C - Crafts: Mary Ann Kohl wrote a wonderful collection of books from Scribble Art to Big Messy Art Book, to Math Art and more. Also visit www.Crayola.com, www.FamilyFun.Go.com or www.Kaboose.com for ideas.
D – Dance on Bubble Wrap! Take leftover bubble wrap and dance on it while playing music!
E - Experiment: Check out www.Kids-Science-Experiments.com for ideas.
F - Face Paint: Mix 1 tsp. cornstarch and ½ tsp. cold cream together. Add ½ tsp. water and stir. Drop in food coloring to achieve the desired color. Use cotton swabs for face painting fun.
G - Goop: Mix 2/3 cup warm water, 1 1/2 tsp. powdered Borax, 3 drops food coloring and stir using a wooden spoon. Then, make a glue solution in another bowl mixing 3/4 cup warm water and 1 cup white school glue. Pour the first mix into the glue solution. Use your hands to knead until only one tablespoon of liquid is left. It will be sticky at first. After the excess liquid has dripped off, the Goop is ready. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. When you are through, discard in a waste can. DO NOT wash it down the sink. If it dries on carpet or clothing, cover with a cloth soaked in vinegar to de-gel, then wash the area with detergent and water.
H – Hats: Use newsprint to design pirate hats or make grocery sack hats. Find instructions on www.FamilyFun.Go.com.
I – Ice Skating: Visit Crown Center or The Ice at Park Place for a fun day of ice skating with your children. Tuesdays are discount days at Crown Center!
J - Jigsaw Puzzles: Cut shapes from magazines to create puzzles or visit Kaleidoscope to make jigsaw puzzles for FREE.
K- Knock Knock Jokes: Tell classic favorites or visit the library to discover new ones.
L- Light Games: Carefully poke holes in the bottom of a paper cup to form a design. In a dark room, shine a flashlight into the cup to see the pattern that was created. Add colored cellophane for interest. Spin the cups to create a kaleidoscope effect.
M - Make a Map: Create a treasure map leading to a surprise such as a new book, treat or note from mom.
N - Necklaces: String cereal onto yarn to create an edible necklace.
O - Online Games: Five favorites especially for preschoolers:
1) www.StarFall.com - Alphabet themed games
2) www.BigIdeaFun.com – VeggieTales games
3) www.Fisher-Price.com – Educational games
4) www.PBSKids.org - Educational games
5) www.SeussVille.com - Dr. Seuss character cames.
P - Puppets: Make puppets with sacks, socks or paper plates.
Q - Quilt Forts: Use quilts, sheets and pillows to build forts and tunnels.
R – Race: Host an indoor race. Use pillowcases for a potato sack race; make a track and race cars or marbles; or jump, gallop, skip and crawl to the finish line!
S- Sardines: Play “Hide and Seek” backwards. One person hides while everyone else seeks. As the seekers find the hidden person (one by one) they join them in their hiding spot until everyone is crammed (like sardines) into the same spot.
T- Tortilla Snowflakes: Warm flour tortillas for 15 seconds in the microwave. Fold the tortillas in half once and then in half again, so you create a pie wedge shape. Using clean scissors, cut as you would paper snowflakes. Unfold tortillas. Brush with oil or spray with butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar or shredded mozzarella cheese. Another option is to sprinkle them with powdered sugar after baking. Bake until just warm and slightly crisp (about 4 minutes at 250 degrees).
U- Unbirthday Party: In Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter sings the “Unbirthday Song” about the 364 days a year that are NOT your birthday. Make an unbirthday banner, cake and decorations. Play Unpin the Tail from the Donkey (make a donkey with MANY tails; the object is that the blindfolded person must find the correct tail – the one in the proper spot). Host backwards relay races. Eat dessert first. Wear PJs during the day and clothes to bed.
V- Volcanoes: Create a playdough volcano around a paper cup. Put a bit of baking soda in the cup, then pour vinegar into the cup and watch lava spill over! Add food coloring for more fun.
W- Window Painting: Use washable window paint or dry erase markers to decorate windows.
X - Xylophone: Play xylophones and other musical instruments. To make a xylophone using glasses, see www.PBSKids.org/Zoom/Activities/Sci/GlassxXylophone.html
Y - Yeast Pizza Dough: Make Pizza. Ingredients for dough: 1 pkg. yeast, 1 tsp. sugar, 1 cup warm water, 2 T. oil, 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tsp. salt. Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water and add oil. Combine flour and salt. Pour yeast mixture over dry ingredients and mix. Let rest 5 minutes. Roll dough onto greased pan. Add favorite pizza toppings. Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes.
Z - Zoo Animals: Play “Guess the Zoo Animal” as you describe animals with simple clues until your child guesses correctly. Or, head to the Kansas City Zoo for discounted winter admission. The animals are MOST active when it’s chilly outside!
Bonus Book Review
Family Fun Night is a clever collection of over 300 ideas that will make the entire family-from toddler to teen and everyone in between-enjoy spending quality time together. From an indoor picnic to a night of cards to brand new games to excite those children with cabin fever, Family Fun Night offers something for every family. Not only will your family bond through the activities, they’ll make great memories along the way! www.CiderMillPress.com