The Polar Vortex 3 (or something like that) and huge snow storm has everyone on the east coast bundled up and hunkered down these days. I’m sure your kids are all stir crazy and you are running out of activities to do with them. The beauty and novelty has warn off and it’s time for change!
Since we have the pleasure of PSCing most military families have lived through some type of weather related incident where they are stuck with their kids in doors. We are talking everything from heat waves to hurricanes to blizzards to the polar vortex of 2014 (Where did that name come from?). So, this begs the question, What can we do with our children when they have cabin fever?
Well, I’ve been through plenty in my 10 plus years of military life and I’ve got a few tips up my sleeve.
1. Go to the movies. This one is great for super cold and super hot days. Check and see if you installation has a theater. They are cheap and very relaxed so you can bring blankets and such. Plus, who doesn’t love standing for the anthem before they watch a feature film? If not, lots of time theaters will run $1 specials for old movies. This is most common in the summer, so tuck that one away for the next heat wave.
2. Bring outdoor games inside. Now, I don’t mean play a game that will break something. I’ve made hopscotch with tape, set up obstacle courses and played hide and seek to name a few. Another good one for older children is a scavenger hunt.
3. Bounce houses for little kids. If you have a high energy kid find a place that house an indoor play room or bounce house. In the hot New Orleans summers I used to take the boys for ice cream or a milkshake at McDonalds just so they could play.
4. Teen Centers for older children. Most all installations have a teen center. Send them there! It gets their moody selves out of the house and a chance to see their friends.
5. Go outside for 30 mins. I know it can be hard on the parent. There were many days I can remember just wanting to be inside but kids need the fresh air. Take them to the pool for 30 mins before the lifeguard blows the whistle for swim break. In the cold make them shovel the walk ways. Something to get them out! But, always be mindful of temperature warnings. Super hot or super cold sometimes means using another tip.
6. Give them some extra chores. My kids grumble but after a few days of boredom they will do anything to pass the time.
7. If you have a generator hook up the TV for an hour. When the power is out kids these days get bored fast if they can’t go outside or play a game or watch a favorite TV show. So the TV becomes a novelty and their quiet will help you recharge your battery and get the break you need.
Every time I find myself in this position with restless kids I have to find my patience. It’s hard because most times I find myself tapped out both mentally and emotionally. I want an hour of quiet and time to run and see my friends. But, bad weather can leaves us all struggling. These are just a few suggestions to get you back on track and through the cold or hot or stormy winter and summer months.