Bored and Stuck at Home? 12 Survival Tips and Ideas for Parents and Kids.

Stuck at Home

When you’ve been stuck inside for months, either due to a virus or just plain old winter, it’s easy to start feeling that restlessness that is cabin fever. This is especially true for kids who are little balls of energy. But, there are things we can do to help combat cabin fever. Here are just a few of them.

Ideas for Kids who are Bored and Stuck at Home

  1. Get Them Using Their Imaginations Every Day-Just because your kids can’t leave the house doesn’t mean they can’t explore faraway places. The imagination is a powerful tool that can take them to Mars, the bottom of the ocean, or even Arendelle. You can help fuel that imagination by giving your kids costumes to dress up in, old boxes they can turn into space suits, or let them take over the living room to make a pillow fort.
  2. Daily Dance Date-One of the worst parts of being stuck inside all day when you’re a kid is the urge to run around and get some of that energy out. Well, you can help get the wiggles out every day by having a daily dance date. Have everyone in the house contribute to a list of 100 favorite songs then once a day hit the random button and dance as a family to whatever comes on. Play 3-4 songs each day or double up and do it once in the morning and once in the late afternoon. This dance session will help kids get some of their energy out and help them feel better about being inside.
  3. Morning Workout-Getting a morning workout is important no matter what age you are. It helps you stay healthy, wakes you up, and gives your mood a boost, which is vital to fighting cabin fever. You can find all sorts of workouts free on Youtube ranging from Yoga for the whole family to kid-oriented daily PE sessions.
  4. Add Variety to Each Day-Find a way to add some variety each day. This means not eating the same thing for breakfast every day as well as giving them different things to do with all their free time. Break up the day by having the kids do an activity each day. This activity might be watercolors, playing with legos, or even learning how to bake cupcakes. A little bit of variety will help their minds from growing bored.
  5. But Have a Routine-Variety is great, but they should still have something that resembles a routine. This will help make sure that they get chores done, that they make their bed, and that they set time aside for learning. But it will also make sure that they aren’t just sitting in front of the TV all day or playing with just one favorite toy to the point of boredom.
  6. Give Them Something New-Finally, if you can afford to do so, and your kids are starting to go a little stir crazy then it might be time for you to get them something new that they can play with. Or a new activity for them to try out. Our minds crave novelty, this is why shopping addictions are a very real thing. You can help out their mental health by buying them a new toy from time to time. Why not add some outdoor toys to your yard? If you have two or more kids, you can consider buying a foosball table for home. This step can improve relationships in your family life, especially if playing in teams.

Combating Stay-at-Home Orders for Adults

  1. Take Up a New Hobby-In the same way that your kids need to try new things and have their minds stimulated, you do too! One way to do this is to take up a new hobby. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn a foreign language or you want to make a family quilt. When you’re starting to feel like you have cabin fever, or even before you do is a great time to get started on these projects!
  2. Get a New Cookbook-Cooking certainly can count as one of your new hobbies if it’s not something you really do much of. But, even if you do you can still see some mental health benefits from cooking…if you buy a new cookbook. Not only will your mind thank you for the new experience it gets while cooking the food, but you’ll also get the opportunity to try out foods you maybe have never had before or you haven’t had in a long time. All of these things will help reduce cabin fever by giving your mind new stimulation. Here are some books on sale that I recommend, hello Blue Zones!
  3. Give Yourself Goals-If you’re finding that it is more difficult than usual to complete tasks that is a sign of cabin fever. But, when you’re an adult, sometimes you just have to muscle through. One thing that can make that easier is to give yourself goals. If you need to write something tell yourself that if you can write for 10 minutes uninterrupted then you can go have a coffee. Don’t set a timer though, because you might just find you get yourself on a roll. On a larger scale, you can give yourself goals to achieve over a day, a week, or even a month. Goals will help you stay focused on whatever it is you want to achieve, instead of on the fact that you’ve been stuck inside for who knows how long.
  4. Rearrange Your Furniture-You might have noticed by now that stimulating the mind with new things is one of the easiest ways to combat cabin fever. Well, one of those things you can change is where you are. This is why people love vacations so much. Yes, they’re relaxing, but you also get to see something completely different. You can get that same impact on your mind simply by rearranging your furniture. After you do this your mind will have that stimulation for a few weeks, possibly as much as a month, because it feels like a brand new space. You may also want to consider trying a rehab or repurposing project or decorating a room for cheap.
  5. Get Some Sun-The importance of getting exposure to the sun cannot be understated. It helps just about every part of your being. There’s even a depression disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder that comes from, amongst other things, a reduced amount of sunlight. If you can’t get any sunlight there are lamps called SAD lamps that can help you get the same emotional benefits that the sun would give you.
  6. Chat with Friends Often-Finally, one thing you can do to combat cabin fever is to talk with your friends! Have weekly meetups online and send them emails or texts throughout the week. Morning coffee, an online book club, or support group are just some of the ways you can keep conversations and connections going. Keeping in touch with others will not only help you keep from getting bored, but it will also keep your spirits high too.

  • Fine Motor Skills-Games, crafts and coloring activities are a great way to use and practice a child’s fine motor skills.
  • Speech and Language– Many parents seek out a language-rich environment for their child. Any activity can be an opportunity to use and repeat new words and language, mimicking sounds, new vocalizations and articulations.
  • Executive Functioning Skills– Depending on the game or activity, it can be an opportunity to practice executive functions such as working memory, sequencing, following directions, task initiation and more.
  • Handwriting and Fluency- This piggybacks onto the language skills a child needs, but with worksheets, coloring pages and games, they can be a low-risk opportunity to practice handwriting and fluency.
  • Practicing Previously Acquired Skills-Applying already acquired skills across all environments, bring the classroom teaching into the real world.
  • Sensory-Textures, sounds, taste, vestibular, interoception, anything!
  • Social Awareness-Practice traditional social skills in a safe environment, such as: joint attention, taking turns, reciprocating conversation, waiting politely, and more.
  • Gross Motor-If you’re in a new place, practice walking across uneven surfaces, new surfaces, inclines & declines, stairs, or increasing endurance.

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