Surviving cabin fever: Ideas for adults, children to beat the winter blahs

 

Snail mail … Social media may have made the world a little smaller, but who doesn’t enjoy getting a personalized letter in the mail? If grandma and grandpa are enjoying a warmer winter in a southern state, they will appreciate getting something in the mail. (Courtesy photo)

BIG RAPIDS – It hasn’t been a very typical winter.

Frigid, freezing temperatures bluster through the area one week, while warm, rainy days play out during the next week.

Usual winter activities like sledding, snowshoeing and ice skating have been hit-and-miss as Mother Nature delivers snow in waves, leaving just as quickly on bright sunny days.

When it’s cold enough to freeze the tears produced from the chilling wind, there are very few times residents want to leave the warm confines of their homes. Other times, the rain dampens any chance to enjoy a warm day.

What is there to do on those days?

It’s easy to spend a day binge watching “Gold Rush” or the entire “Indiana Jones” series, or let the kids fill their time with countless video games.

However, here are some ideas to push away the doldrums of winter, even if it’s for a few hours at a time:

Taste Test

Spend an afternoon with your children or spouse creating a dinner cuisine from another country or culture, and decorate the dining room accordingly. Have them help you cook everything from appetizers to desserts.

Snow is sacred

If you can brave the snow for a few minutes, haul some inside or fill large bowls with shaving cream to make sculptures. There are also tons of recipes specifically for snow that can be found on social media websites.

Leave the house

Head to your nearest store with some homemade bingo cards and stickers. The squares can include objects such as a red scarf, a pink camouflage jacket, a store display, someone with glasses or a service animal. Determine what the “winner” will be rewarded with.

 

Story time for everyone

Have everyone start writing a story on a piece of notebook paper and swap after five minutes, and add to the story.

Put on a concert … Everyone has a favorite band or musician — sometimes it’s more than just one. Create your own instruments or use the famous air guitar. Let your playlists go and dress up to perform.

Pictures are worth 1,000 words

While photos are crammed on many of our phones, many people still have boxes filled with old photographs. Spend an afternoon looking at old photographs, highlighting the differences in hairstyles, fashion and even what is taking place in the photos.

Read, read, read

Make an effort to stop by your local library and go past the video section to find something that interests you or your family members. Spend an afternoon lounging with a good book or two.

Olympic glory

With the Olympic games right around the corner, try having a family Olympics. Set up an indoor obstacle course with pillow cushions or cardboard boxes, “ice skate” around your kitchen or test your marksmanship with snowballs. Make sure you have the medals ready.

One with nature

It may be February, but spend a day hauling out the tent and set it up – or make that ever-impressive blanket fort with tables and chairs. Grab some sleeping bags and flashlights and enjoy camping in the living room.

Explore a little more

Go on a safari inside your home. Hide your children’s stuffed animals and go searching throughout the house to find them. Be sure to capture video on your cellphone of the adventure.

The classics never get old

Set up a table and a large jigsaw puzzle for the entire family to work on. You may be surprised just how much you and your family members share while working on the puzzle.

It never hurts to ask

See if you can get some large boxes from a store and find some paint, markers, glue, glitter and any other accessory and let you and your children’s imaginations run wild.

 

Make a movie

Cellphones can provide a fun way to make small videos or even movies. Engage your inner-child and become an action star with your children.

Pamper the pets

If it’s too cold for you to be outside, it’s too cold for your furry loved ones to be out there. Spend an afternoon pampering your pet with treats and attention. Or, try to teach an old dog a new trick.

 

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Posted by Brandon Fountain

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