Parent Hacks: Battling cabin fever with fresh indoor ideas for your kids

Soon enough, we’ll be trapped indoors on those cold winter days with the kids complaining about how bored they are (or how annoying that brother is).

To survive without going stir crazy, try out these indoor activities.

Start by teaching them some independence. I constantly hear complaints from parents about getting school lunches packed and prepared. So why not teach your kids to do it for themselves?

Have your kids write down what they think a healthy meal is for lunch. Have them place the foods into categories such as fruit, vegetable, protein, fats, etc.

Talk to them about their choices and then have them make up one of the meals. For little kids, a no-cook option is obviously best.

After they’ve made their lunch, let them have an indoor picnic. If they’re of school age, having a friend come over can make this even more fun, and it gives another cabin fever parent a small break (and of course you’re going to ask to have the favour returned on the next cold day).

Another thing you can do with the kids is a scavenger hunt (for those kids not yet reading, you can draw pictures).

This can be a great way to get some cleanup done if you list things like a dirty plate or a sock with a hole in it as some of your items.

Speaking of socks, gather up all those lost-soul (or is that sole?) socks from the laundry room and see how many they can match up. Make it a speed contest.

It can be tough to get the kids active indoors, but consider setting up a mini basement gym.

Create circuit-like stations where they have to “drop and give me 20,” do some jumping jacks, hop on one foot or hold the longest wall squat. Try it yourself if you’re missing your outdoor run due to the weather.

Let the kids set up a fort. If you provide them with old sheets, pillows, some snacks and a few books or comics to read, you might not see them until the temperature finally rises outside.

For added fun, hand them some flashlights and tell them to pretend they don’t have any electricity.

No electricity equals no screens. But, if you’re going to let them use a screen, just make sure you’re having them take a break from it every so often to give their eyes a break.

And then send them into the kitchen to make lunch … for you as well.

Not only will these activities keep the troop busy, they’ll also cross off some chores that you never find time to do when you’re rushing to get the kids to school or out to activities.

Then, before you know it, spring will be here and you can send them back outside.

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