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Cabin fever survival ideas.

 
 
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 09:34 am
We are locked in an artic storm with highs expected in the twenties for the next few days. School is cancelled today, probably tomorrow, followed closely by two full weeks out for winter break.

Our weather here is typically mild and we aren't used to staying indoors much. Because it rarely gets this cold here we don't really have a lot of cold weather clothing and gear to make outdoor excursions possible.

(I know, I know, we're weather sissies. That's why we live here. We know how good we've got it most of the time.)

With cabin fever already starting to set in I need some novel ideas to keep an active, outdoors loving 7 year old busy -- some things that burn off some energy and combat boredom without completely destroying the house.

I thought some of you from the colder climates might have some advice for me.

Thanks!
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Type: Question • Score: 10 • Views: 2,862 • Replies: 24
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 09:40 am
@boomerang,
Wow!

I know he likes music, does he dance? Does he get embarrassed to dance with his mom? We do that if we're feeling cooped up sometimes... crank up music and dance like crazy for a while.

Bake -- it's a nice warm activity and you get goodies at the end of it too. If it's specifically a boredom-buster, making messes can be a good part of it (as long as the mess-maker helps with clean-up). I mean like rolling out dough, smooshing it up, cutting out shapes, that sort of thing.

Obvious -- books, TV, videogames. All more interesting if done in pairs, with commentary.

There must be kids in the vicinity, walking distance? Playdates are good (adults can only do so much for 7-year-olds....)

About to head out, will keep thinking....
0 Replies
 
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 11:25 am
@boomerang,
jigsaw puzzle...
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 11:28 am
@boomerang,
Indoor fort, pirates vs. the King's men. Make outfits and swords.

Baking cookies and cakes and pies.

Experiments where things freeze, do them indoors and then set outside of a window.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 12:09 pm
Read! But, if venturing out, dress in many layers to keep the body warmth in. Also, keep the head covered, and the forehead. A wool/nylon stocking cap pulled low, over a baseball cap, makes for a warm hat. Walk carefully on ice. Watch out for cars that are not used to stopping on possible ice.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 12:14 pm
@boomerang,
Scrub floors. Best done with strict time limit.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 12:50 pm
The mailman did just deliver a book I ordered about where babies come from. I'd sit down and read that with him if our house wasn't full of construction workers......

Plus, reading doesn't burn off much energy.

Floor scrubbing sounds productive except with the workers here it's kind of pointless.

Baking sounds good! I wonder what I've got in the kitchen......
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 01:11 pm
@boomerang,
When we were renovating our 19th century farmhouse we ripped out one of the side walls near an old fireplace and found a mason type jar with a little toy solider with a broken arm, a small carved wooden horse, a paper with a poem about a whale and a sailor, a few marbles and a single dice (die?). My nieces were fascinated by this piece of history. It probably belonged to some little boy a hundred years ago. Maybe Mo could put together a time capsule that represents himself and his interests. Hide it somewhere where it won't get wet and tell him he can either leave it for one of his kids to find or some other future occupant of the house. Have him pick items he won't mind locking away, but somehow will tell a story about himself.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 01:45 pm
did you get a video camera like you wanted to, you could make a movie
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 02:17 pm
After all the Halloween excitement was gone, my brother and I used to brainstorm costume ideas and have dress rehearsals for the following year's Halloween costumes.

We also built our share of forts and dog houses in the backyard. One of the funniest home movies we have is of my brother proudly showing off a dog house he built on the patio as it slowly collapsed in the background. Our most infamous fort was built under two redwood trees in the backyard, so sturdy (after many a hilarious trial and error) that it was still there 25 years later when the house was sold. We and the neighborhood kids used to hide out in that little fort under the trees with all our dogs for hours and hours while it rained outside.

Maybe with all those construction folks there, a small woodworking project for Mo to work on would suffice. He can learn some tips by watching them work, too. Have him work on making something like a cutting board or a cookbook holder for you. My mom still treasures those my brother made for her.

Is he old enough to learn to whittle?

http://www.howtowhittle.com/order.html

http://www.content4reprint.com/hobbies/how-to-whittle-wooden-model-trucks.htm

Have him whittle up a bunch of kindling for the fireplace.

Do some crafting with clay or plaster of paris. Make some candles with forms or by dipping.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 02:20 pm
@boomerang,
Construction workers, didn't know about them... how long will they be there?

Does Mo like performing? Maybe a drum recital, or something like that? You guys can make them a bunch of cookies and then ask if they'd like to take a 10-minute break and eat cookies and watch Mo... preparation (both rehearsal and baking) should eat up a fair amount of time...
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 02:47 pm
Since the construction we're having done requires yanking out the windows we have built us a fort of sorts in the living room where we are trying to keep warm! We've hung blankets across all the doors and have a roaring fire going. Fun!

Shoot! Making a movie would be fun but we decided to put off the video camera for a bit.

We did venture outside for a little while but it is even too cold for Mo today.

UPS delivered some of the stuff I'd ordered for Christmas and I'm seriously tempted to pull out the snap together ghostbuster car model but I can't quite work up the nerve. It's something he's really been wanting and it was a bear to find and I want to keep it for Christmas.

Whittling would be cool is I didn't think Mo would cut himself to ribbons -- we don't have a good knife for that.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Dec, 2008 05:02 am
* Make candles from old crayons
* Put on a puppet show
* Paint

That's all I've got, in addition to the above.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Dec, 2008 09:39 am
Christmas crafts could come in handy now...
Do you know how to make stars from paper or straws?
Buy a small saw (for kids) and a soft flat piece of wood and cut out some
ornaments, figurines. Or let Mo build a box out of wood.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Dec, 2008 07:04 pm
They actually had school today!!!

But we are supposed to get hit really really hard tonight. It could get very nasty.

I'm writing down all of the ideas just in case the electricity goes kaput.....

Thanks all!
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Dec, 2008 10:30 pm
School is cancelled for tomorrow.....

It probably won't be back in session until January 5.....

Cabin Fever! Catch it!!!!
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Dec, 2008 10:43 pm
@boomerang,
I dunno, we walked over to South Boulevard and skated on the iced field at - 7 degrees (that was before windchill). The good thing was that there was a small warming hut, to change our skates in.

We made snowmen, and otherwise comported ourselves.
I could be wrong and just not remembering, but I don't remember a snow day at my school. Maybe I'm wrong, but they didn't happen often. (chicago area, which had scads of snow, then - I remember it at 24-30" or more in our side yard).

But wait, you have house openings exposed? I'll temper my thoughts.


ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Dec, 2008 10:57 pm
@ossobuco,
I do remember sleeping in my coat when we first got (my first) studio, that had seven broken windows. But, that was in LA. Cold in January, but not like in Massachusetts.

And dealing with our studio, with no heat, in northern california, when we walked in.

Consider it adventure (which I think you do already).

Meantime, I've gotten obnoxiously to me vulnerable to cold. So all my snippety stuff can be said to me too.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2008 07:52 am
Clarification -- your main problem with going outside is that you don't currently have the proper gear, rather than the temperature per se, right?

Is getting the proper gear a possibility, if so? Sounds like UPS is delivering if nothing else, and there are lots of rush shipping things going on for free or reduced prices because of Christmas.

That's really the best cure for cabin fever -- piling it all on, going outside and doing cold-weather stuff (is there snow? that's funnest but there are other options too), then coming inside for some nice hot chocolate and Christmas-tree gazing...

If Mo has a basic jacket, you should be covered with snowpants, a fleece underlayer of some sort, good boots (boots are probably the most important component), plus hat scarf mittens/ gloves. As in, you probably have much of that, and good boots and snowpants (for example) might put you over the top.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2008 11:16 am
@sozobe,
I hate to order a bunch of gear as it is just downright odd for it to get this cold and have snow in the valley. Usually we have lows in the 40s this time of year. It's in the teens now and expected to go lower than that.

The ground is frozen solid with the remainder of Monday's snow and the rain just started; they expect the city to be a solid sheet of ice in a few hours. It's pretty trecherous out there.

The window people have been really amazing at minimizing the disruption of their work but the house is insanely drafty.

I think we'll survive. Thanks for all the great ideas!
 

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