In our family, the cure for cabin fever is as simple as bringing the outdoors inside. My children love to be outside. We spend a tremendous amount of time outdoors throughout the year. Occasionally wind chills and cold symptoms cause us to stay indoors. Before long, cabin fever sets in.
For us, the cure for cabin fever isn’t electronics.
Children need to move their bodies and flex their fingers. Not to mention the desire to engage their minds. This can be a tall order in New England during the dead of winter. First I started with a simple DIY rice sensory bin. Watching my children enjoy the sensory bin reminded me how much they enjoy playing outdoors in the sand. We often explore the oceanside, paying close attention to the sandy beaches.
As a result, Homemade Kinetic Sand was a huge hit. It was also easy to make. Other than a bag of fresh play sand, I had all of the ingredients on hand. Tea tree oil is optional. Tea tree oil has anti-bacterial properties and helps to keep the sand mixture fresh. However, I only added half of the recommended amount for a more mild scent.
Next came Sensory Sand Dough. Sensory Sand Dough quickly became a household favorite. The dough itself is very much like “play-doh”. However the sandy texture adds a welcoming sensory component. It’s the texture that keeps my kids rolling and shaping the dough with delight.
Yet, no amount of Kinetic Sand or Sensory Sand Dough satisfies cabin fever entirely. Inevitably, the afternoons arrive and my children grow bored of the usual activities.
My children want to move their bodies. They need to climb and stretch.
I began to look around our home, imagining how I might be offer such an experience indoors. Our house is small. It doesn’t have a finished basement and doesn’t feature a lot of open floor space. I realized that instead of using floor space, I needed to use wall space. At first is seemed a little crazy, but I felt sure it was possible. Before long, our staircase became an indoor climbing wall!
I ordered the grips for our Indoor Climbing Wall from Amazon. Next I enlisted the help of my husband to install the grips. It’s important you secure each grip to a wall stud and not just sheet rock. The kids watched my husband in wonder. Initially, they had no idea what he was doing to the wall.
It took some practice to build up their strength and agility. Before long, even my littlest child was scaling the wall like a scene from a comic book. Our indoor climbing wall has been a great cure for cabin fever. Ironically, children in my house are encouraged to “climb the walls”.
Ultimately, the best cure for cabin fever is creativity. Whether you use these ideas, or formulate concepts of your own, thinking about your child’s outdoor interests is helpful. I’ve found that many interests can be modified for indoor play. So, the next time Old Man Winter throws a sub-zero wind chill my way, I’ll be prepared!