Beat cabin fever with these creative and (mostly) free activities

Posted on February 20, 2018 at 6:00 am

By Rachel Edmondson

If your family is like mine, then February is peak cabin fever season. While we still bundle up and go outside occasionally, we don’t last long when the weather is so chilly. This leaves a lot of time spent inside trying to keep ourselves entertained. While we love reading books, watching movies, and playing games, sometimes we need something new to break the monotony of a Spokane winter. So if you are looking for some fun (and mostly free) ways to entertain your kids, here is a go-to list of creative ideas that don’t take too much preparation when cabin fever starts to get the best of you.

Upcycle crafts

Take old items that are ready to be recycled and create something new! Upcycle crafts are great because as long as you have the basics, like scissors and glue, you don’t have to buy art supplies. Simply gather old items from around the house (or dig through your recycle bin) and let your kids create whatever they can imagine. Cereal boxes and paper towel tubes can be used for amazing art—ideas abound on YouTube and Pinterest.

Flashlight tag

My house is definitely too small for a game of tag, but we’ve discovered the solution—flashlight tag! We’ve played a few different versions. If we need to get energy out, I move the flashlight around on the floor while my kids take turns trying to jump on it and “catch” it. In the second version, each person has their own flashlight and shines it on the ceiling. One person is it and tries to catch the others’ lights.

Decorate eggs

Who says this activity is only for Easter? Why not make St. Patrick’s Day eggs? Or friendship eggs? Or “it’s Monday” eggs? There are so many fun ways to decorate eggs, so break out the dye, crayons, rubber bands, and stickers more than once a year.

Build a fort

This is a classic for a reason! Building a fort is not only a lot of fun, it also creates a whole new space to spend time. You can also get creative. Try building a grocery store, a restaurant, or even a wolves’ den. Incorporating pretend play can help extend this activity beyond the building phase. Forts are also a great way to make regular activities, like reading and watching movies, feel extra special.

Cooking & baking

This activity isn’t free, but groceries are a necessity, so you might as well create a fun, family activity with the food you buy. Try making a dish from another country. Or buy a fruit or vegetable you’ve never tried before and challenge yourselves to cook with it. Check out the library’s sizable cookbook collection for inspiration. You can also create family challenges—give everyone in the family the same ingredients and see who makes the best dish!

Dance party & family band

My family likes to use dance parties as a way to expend some energy and have fun. You’ll find great streaming music from hoopla to help you get in the groove. Sometimes it’s good to mix things up a bit, so instead of dancing, you could make a family band. Who’s the best at playing the spoons? Can you really make music with a comb? Or, simply break out the pots and pans and anything that shakes. Once you’ve gathered and made your instruments, create a song as unique as your family.

Visit the library

Sometimes you just have to get out of the house. Most kid’s activities cost money, but there are so many fun, free programs at your library. Take a look at our programs and events guide, Engage, for upcoming programs. You can also check out activities to do at home. For younger kids, try our STEM kits that include books, manipulatives (toys, blocks, etc.), and fun activities. For older kids, checkout a Snap Circuit set to safely explore electrical circuits and engineering.

Cabin fever, be gone!

Rachel Edmondson

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