5 Ways to Combat Cabin Fever with Kids

With winter weather and an ever-present pandemic, we’re battling cabin fever in five creative ways!
Written by Sarah Orrison

Cabin fever (no, not the horror movie, although some days it may feel like it). Symptoms include: restlessness, irritability and decreased motivation. Not the easiest emotions to deal with especially when you throw kiddos into the mix! While we know the pandemic coupled with cold weather has not been easy, here are five ideas to liven up your Saturday afternoon and provide some fresh perspective.

Again, not the horror film (we promise this isn’t a theme). But in all seriousness, get out and let the fresh air in. Research shows that being outdoors improves your overall mood and helps to reduce stress. Get that energy boosting by going on a neighborhood walk or exploring a new trail. If you’re in the US, AllTrails.com is a great community resource to find nearby parks & trails. When you’re heading out for your adventure, the Larktale caravan™ stroller/wagon is perfect for two passengers and has space for all your trip essentials. Don’t forget to grab your rain/wind cover for any inclement weather + shielding your kiddos away from unwanted germs.

Walks & hikes aren’t your thing? Head outside, either in your yard or outdoor space, for a quick nature scavenger hunt, nature bingo or to grab rocks to paint as an art project.

Similar to feeling like you have nothing to wear with a closet full of clothes, a room full of toys can have the same effect. Enter a little imagination and you can make old toys feel like new again. One of our favorite indoor activities is creating an obstacle course with a mixture of toys and household objects. Incorporate hula-hoops and jump ropes, create tunnels to crawl under using a row of chairs or couch cushions, a laundry basket can be used for beanbag toss or a forgotten ring stacker can be used for ring toss. Throw in riding our Larktale scoobi™ 5-in-1 scooter to the finish line and you’ve got yourself endless fun while also staying active.

Other ideas include Magna-Tile and lego build challenges, toy car races or parades (everyone decks out their vehicle of choice) and the entertaining prop improv game (using toys) à la Whose Line is It Anyway.

There’s never been a better time to mix things up in the kitchen. Grab your most beloved kid’s books and let the stories inspire the menu. Whether it’s freshly baked chocolate chip cookies from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, green eggs and ham from, you guessed it, Green Eggs and Ham or the entire Saturday menu from The Very Hungry Caterpillar (yum), there isn’t a more delicious way to devour your favorite reads.

While this may not be an option for all, sometimes all you need is a little change in scenery. If your area’s COVID-19 restrictions allow and you feel safe enough to stay in a hotel for a night, a local staycation could be just the thing you and the fam need. A few tips: call ahead to the hotel to ensure there aren’t any large groups staying at the same time, check the hotel’s website for COVID safety precautions + cleaning procedures that have been implemented and consider booking a room with all the essentials (kitchenette, TV, etc.) as you’ll most likely be staying in the whole time.

Not feeling the hotel scene? Plan for a campout/sleepover party in a part of the house you don’t normally sleep. Get the whole family in on the action with sleeping bags and/or tents if you have them! Don’t forget the smores!

Ah – the lost art of letter writing. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to dust off those plain notecards and create some homemade Valentine’s Day cards for your neighbors, friends and family. Pro tip: paper doilies go a long way for a classic look, but you really can’t go wrong with supplies you probably already have on hand (construction paper, glitter glue, stickers, etc.).

And, we would be remiss if we didn’t take the time to note how fortunate some of us are to have a safe, warm home to feel “stuck” in. If you’re looking to harness some of those gratitude resolutions, gratitude cards are a perfect way for you and your kiddos to write down what and who you’re thankful for.