As I sit at the dining room table checking my phone for E-mail, I realize my three-year-old son has been running in a circle in the front room for several minutes. While he has been running, his voice level has been increasing until he is now yelling something unintelligible. It occurs to me that my poor boy is extremely bored! This cold, winter weather has forced him to play inside much more often than he is used to or prefers. Have you noticed your child getting cabin fever, too? Is it maybe starting to get on your nerves a little bit?
If your child is showing signs of the winter blahs (or “crazies”), such as running in circles, yelling much more than usual, making huge messes all over the house in his search for something fun to do, and staring out the window longingly, here is an idea for something fun to do that also gives you the opportunity to teach him to recognize and control his voice.
First, make some cards with the words (in big letters) LOUD, SOFT, FAST, SLOW, HUM, and WHISTLE. Index cards work well for this. If your child can’t read yet, it is helpful to put a picture with the word too. For example, a lion would go with loud, a mouse would go with soft, a turtle with slow, etc. Then attach the cards to popsicle sticks.
Next, find your child’s favorite songs because you will be having a sing-a-long. What you do is this: while your child’s favorite song is playing, hold up one of the cards. He now has to sing the song how the card tells him to. After a phrase or two, hold up another card. Kids usually find this game entertaining. You can let your child take a turn holding up the cards.
For the next activity, you will need some whipping cream, salt, and a container to hold the ingredients. The smaller the container the better, because you will be making butter and don’t want your child to get bored. Fill the small container, such as a baby food jar (which allows you to see the butter forming), about half way with the cream, add a little salt for taste if preferred, then start shaking. It’s fun to pretend to have a parade around the room while listening to those favorite songs and shaking the jars. After a few minutes you will be able to see the butter and maybe a little bit of liquid (which is buttermilk). You can now spread it on some bread or biscuits that you have made ahead of time.
I hope you enjoy this fun indoor activity with your child. And try to remember that he isn’t crazy, just anxious for some warmer weather so he can play outside all day again!