4 Tips for Fighting Winter Cabin Fever
Play matters! All kids deserve a chance to play. Yet many of today’s kids – especially the 16 million living in poverty – aren’t getting the balanced and active play they need to thrive.
Valpak is proud to announce we’re teaming up with the nonprofit KaBOOM! to “ensure that kids have the opportunity to play every day, everywhere.” Since 1995, KaBOOM! has constructed more than 2,000 playgrounds in North America and inspired a movement for children’s rights to play.
The “Valpak Saves” campaign hopes to raise awareness and support KaBOOM!’s mission to inspire play and healthy living within our communities. Throughout the year we will be providing helpful ideas on how you can incorporate play into your everyday life.
With the majority of the U.S. still dealing with severe weather conditions, many kids will be kept home from school, and will undoubtedly become bored and restless. This week KaBOOM! shares a few activities that can help fight the doldrums of cabin fever.
Think kids can’t handle cold weather? Apparently some schools do, keeping students indoors for recess at mild temperatures of 35 to 40 degrees.
One the other end of the spectrum, one Minnesota elementary school principal told USA Today that his policy is, “if it’s 15 below (or warmer), they go out, no matter what… At 20 below, it gets iffy.”
One of our favorite mantras, courtesy of ActiveKidsClub.com, is: There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. While this may not hold true during extreme weather events — for instance, a certain hurricane named Sandy — it is a good mantra for families to live by as the darkness and cold set in.
So bundle up, and get outside! Here are four of our favorite winter play ideas :
Hold a Block Party
It’s tough to get your kids outside when all the other kids in the neighborhood are holed up in front of the TV, so use a block party as an excuse to lure nearby families out of their homes.
Free Range Kids posted a story on one such party — in MINNESOTA. If it can be done in Minnesota, you can do it too. Tempt your neighbors with the wafting aromas of chili and hot chocolate and the delighted squeals of playing children.
Build a Fort
Kids love an outdoor hide-out, and you don’t need nails or construction skills to build one. Kids can build their own with whatever “loose parts” on hand: tablecloths, shower curtains, cardboard boxes, paper towel tubes, or newspapers.
The best part? The structure isn’t permanent so they can keep themselves busy destroying and rebuilding it over and over again. Here are some of our favorite homemade forts.
Use the weather to explore the properties of matter with your kids and get artistic while you’re at it. Create cookie cutter sculptures, colored blocks, lanterns, balloon marbles, and lace — all out of ice! Visit our Winter Play Pinterest board for more inspiration.
Play with Fire
Fire helps stave off cold and darkness, two elements that can bring on the wintertime blues. If space in your backyard permits, teach your kids how to safely build and feed a fire. It’s an amazingly simple way to keep your family entertained outdoors for hours after dusk.
Plus, you can turn winter walks in the park into “treasure hunts” for kindling.
What advice do you have for playing outside through the winter?
Join us in supporting this worthy cause! For as little as $5, you can help Valpak and KaBOOM! give kids the playful childhood they deserve. Give today at kaboom.org/valpak.