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Coping with cabin fever

Cold winter days can be fun with a little planning
Cold winter days can be fun with a little planning
Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Winter in northern Michigan is a time of longing for more sunshine and warmer temperatures. The shorter amount of daylight can be downright disheartening. And for parents with young children it is a time when crabbiness rears its ugly head more often than usual. This is the time of cabin fever, winter blahs, winter blues or whatever you choose to call it!

What can a parent with young children to do to alleviate the cabin fever blues? Here are a few suggestions.

1. This is a great time to visit the local library and maybe check out the story time schedule.
2. Have a “themed” play time with your children and some friends. Pretend it is summer and have a Beach Day with “picnic” snack on a blanket on the living room floor and bring out the beach balls and hula hoops.
3. Turn up your favorite music on the radio and dance in the kitchen
4. Make homemade play dough
5. Bake cookies to share with a neighbor
6. Get out Candyland or Go Fish and have a game night with the whole family participating
7. Draw some pictures to take to an assisted living home or nursing home. The residents there will greatly appreciate the charming, child artwork!
8. Enjoy the sunshine when it does come out and get outdoors and play (always dressing warmly, of course).
9. Make a collage from those Valentines or Christmas cards
10. Check out a sign language book from the library, learn some sign

But, most of all, do not despair. The northern Michigan winter will end and then spring will be on the way. Before you know it, your kids will be splashing in mud puddles and you will be reminding them to close the screen door so the mosquitoes do not come in!

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