Did you happen to catch the Today Show this morning? I made a guest appearance to share a few creative ways to beat your cabin fever and survive the last few weeks of winter. That's right, spring is on the way. Hooray! You'll be able to get outside soon enough, but until then, you can keep busy with these activities for you and your kids, your spouse, and your girlfriends.
(I start at 1:40 in this video)
Cabin Fever Ideas for SPOUSES
1. Indoor Campout
Who says forts are just for kids and camping is only for summer? Set up a tent in the living room, or build a blanket fort like this one from.
You can fake a fire (or light a real one if you're lucky enough to have that as an option), add some mood lighting, blankets, pillows, and of course, snacks. This s'mores tray from Twelfth Avenue would be amazing!
It would be fun to put on a movie, or just snuggle. Either way, you can't go wrong.
If you're not the "fort building type," you may want to consider this Black Striped Teepee Playhouse from Amazon. You can say it's for the kids. Your secret is safe with me.
2. Board Game Tournament
Playing board games is a great cabin fever buster, but let's take it up a notch. Intentional by Grace had the bright idea to start a board game tournament. Pick a game like Scrabble, Ticket To Ride, Yahtzee, Uno, or another favorite, and keep a running tally of points or wins and losses. At the end of the year you can have a tournament for bragging rights and maybe even a DIY trophy.
3. Cook Dinner Together
Of course, I love cooking, and it's always a good time when I can get someone else in the kitchen with me. It is fun to work together on a recipe, or have each of you tackle a course in the meal and surprise each other. If you need some inspiration, I happen to know where you can find a recipe or two.
4. Take a Virtual Vacation
Want to take a quick jaunt to Paris, or spend an evening in Egypt without leaving the house? When time or money don't permit you to take a real vacation, you and your spouse can take a virtual one. Happy Wives Club suggests you and your spouse pick a destination and spend the evening planning your trip. You can look up pictures of the sites, scenery, and wildlife, and talk about what excursions you would go on if you visited. With no limits, you can plan the biggest and best trip ever. It's fun to imagine the possibilities together. I like to round out the evening with food from destination. Did someone say French fries? Yes, please.
5. Create a Date Night Bucket List
Sometimes the best thing you can do with your together time is plan more together time. The girls over at The Dating Divas put together these free printable bucket list planners you can use to plan a year of dates. You can schedule dates to stay in, go out, and hang out with other couples. They've even included suggestions for things you can do each month.
Cabin Fever Ideas or KIDS
1. Bubble Art
All kids love blowing bubbles with straws, right? Moms seem to be less keen on the activity when it's done at the dinner table, but I haven't met a mom yet who doesn't love it for this art project. Odds are good you already have paper, paint, dish soap, straws, and water hanging around the house.
If so, you have everything you need to make these one-of-a-kind masterpieces from Today's Creative Life. I love that this activity used household items and the results can last long after the day indoors. They're so fun, you may just want to put the kids to bed and spend some time making your own works of art.
It’s so easy to make playdough at home with pantry ingredients. Plus you can color it any color you want! Domestic Superhero has spent a lot of time experimenting with homemade recipes, and shares her secret formula.
I LOVE the idea from Modern Parents Messy Kids about creating your own play dough tool kit from household items. No need to go out at all and you can get creative with your kids making projects.
3. Photo Scavenger Hunt
Not only is it a great learning activity to have kids look for shapes in everyday items, but the sooner your kids learn how to take pictures, the sooner you can stop using your selfie stick. Make a list of things to find (i.e. the number 7, a white sock, three triangles, etc.) and turn your kids loose in the house with a phone or digital camera. If you don't trust them with the camera, you can go along and take the pictures for them. I love that older kids can help create the clues with you too.
4. Board Games
Pull out the old board games and have a tournament! Classic games are always great to revisit with the whole family. You could even print out your own NEW games like this Inside Out one from Strawberry Mommycakes. This game of emotions is fun for everyone.
5. Science Experiments
These science experiments are so fun, your kids will forget they're indoors, and won't have a clue they're actually learning. First, you can make these magic rainbows in a jar, like Today's Creative Life did. It's a super fun science project that you can do over again and again. Each one is different and it’s fun to see how everyone’s turns out.
The ocean in a bottle activity from Happy Hooligans will keep kids making waves for hours. Throw some little toys in the jar and watch them float on the ocean.
6. Cardboard Castle
Years of extensive studies have shown that kids love to play in cardboard boxes. You can be like Cloudy Day Gray to win the parent of the year award (at least in the eyes of your kids). She crafted this amazing cardboard castle to provide hours of fun. But the best part is, it folds up nicely so you can pull it out any ol' day your cabin fever starts to set in.
7. Serve Others
At the very moment when you think everyone is going to crack from boredom and too much time inside, you can take a pause and teach your kids how great it feels to do things for other people. Mique from Thirty Handmade Days wrote the book on service. Literally. Her book, Make & Share Random Acts of Kindness: Simple Crafts and Recipes to Give and Spread Joy, is packed with simple ideas, like leaving inspirational quotes where others will find them, that will fill your kids with the warm fuzzies and teach them the value of service.
Cabin Fever Ideas for FRIENDs
1. Spa Night
A day at the spa can get expensive, so I love the idea of hosting a spa night with friends using these make-at-home treatments. You can make them together, or have them prepped ahead of time for maximum relaxation minutes with your best girls. The simple ingredients make for a fun night in sweats and aromatic oils!
To finish off the night, you can send your girlfriends home with their own jar of bath salts like these from Today's Creative Life.
If you'd rather not go the DIY route, the gift sets from Farm Aesthetics would be perfect!
2. Favorite Things Party
Favorite things parties are becoming a hit all over the country. These are so fun that you may even want to make it a monthly girl's night. You can make them as simple or as detailed as you want. For example, Jessica at Fantabulosity threw a great plaid themed favorite things party, complete with a dress code and themed menu. The biggest part of the party though, is a gift exchange.
You can run the gift swap like a white elephant exchange where everything is wrapped and gifts are selected at random, or you can do like Jessica did, and have people bring three smaller gifts and draw names. In the second scenario everyone puts their name in a bowl three times, so each person leaves with three gifts from other people. However you do it, have each person talk about the gift they brought so you can learn more about it and the person. It's also a good idea to have someone taking notes to make it easy for people to track down each item on their own after the party.
Ask me any time, and I'll tell you without hesitation that my favorite thing is chocolate chip cookies. My chocolate chip cookies in particular, so that's what I would bring to a party.
I know a lot of people who would say wine is their favorite thing. The Vivino App is a great tool for helping select the perfect wine, like the Kenzo Estate, Pahlmeyer, Russian Valley Pino Noir, or this fun one from Speak Wines.
3. Craft Night
This isn’t your typical craft night with the girls! As much as I love food, sometimes it's fun to get together for a night that doesn't center around eating. I fell in love with these super chic jewelry bowls from She Wears Many Hats. They're easier than you think, and you can make and take them home in one night. They use white sculpey clay, and a few other simple supplies you can order online.
These striped mason jars from The Crafted Sparrow would also make a fun addition to craft night.
If you're a little more ambitious, I adore this wood sign from Lolly Jane. It would look so cute in a dining room!
Those are a few of my favorite cabin fever busters. What are some of yours?
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Recipe by Tara Teaspoon
I’ve been in the food publishing business for over 20 years, creating recipes and food styling for magazines, books, television and advertising. Find out more about me!