Do your kids have the winter blues? We can help!
Are your kids bored or bickering? Are they getting restless from being cooped up indoors? Winter is the time of year when cabin fever usually sets in. Don’t despair. Here are 10 ideas to help you keep your kids happy and busy all winter long.
Go camping indoors.
The sky may be grey, and the wind bitter cold, but you can still go camping indoors. Clear off your dining room table and cover it with blankets. Let your kids build their camp site using blankets and sleeping bags. Add a few pillows and flashlights, and you’ve got a sure cure for boredom.
Break the routine.
Change things up by serving dinner outside of the kitchen. Pack a picnic basket with kid-friendly foods — juice boxes, water bottles, packets of raisins, string cheese, sandwiches, paper plates, napkins. Spread a blanket in the family room and put together some sandwiches. Then unpack your picnic and enjoy.
Tour Phenix City and Columbus.
Pretend your family is on vacation in Phenix City and Columbus. Visit the River walk, local historical sites, parks, shops, and indoor play areas. Younger kids will enjoy Transformations (a hands-on gallery for kids) at the Columbus Museum.
Older kids will enjoy watching an IMAX movie and seeing the exhibits at the National Infantry Museum. There are a lot to things for kids to do in Phenix City and Columbus, so get out and explore your hometown.
Read a book.
One of my fondest memories is listening to my mom read a story every afternoon. Reading to your children at least thirty minutes a day has numerous benefits. The nurturing that takes place when you read to a child helps strengthen the child’s sense of security.
The Phenix City-Russell Country Library, the Columbus Public Library, and Barnes & Noble offer free story times and activities for kids of all ages.
The Columbus Aquatic Center is open to the public year-round. Memberships are available in 3 month, 6 month, and 1 year options for the public (Muscogee County residents receive a discounted rate.) The Columbus Aquatics Center offers its own selection of swimming lessons, including Water Tots. Get a jump start on summer and register your kids today. For more information, call 706.225.3980.
Schedule a play date.
Invite a friend over for a playdate. Fewer things make familiar toys look new again, than having someone over to play.
If you have preschoolers, check out MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) at Wynnbrook Baptist Church in Columbus. This faith-based group meets twice a month and offer many activities for mothers and little ones. For more information, send an email to [email protected].
Take a day trip.
There are lots of fun destinations within a day’s drive of Phenix City and Columbus. One of our favorites is the Children’s Museum of Atlanta. This family-friendly museum is packed with fun, hands-on activities for kids ages 8 and under. For more information, go to www.imaginit-cma.org.
Another of great destination is Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain. For the past five years, Callaway has offered complimentary admission on weekdays between January 1 and February 28. For more information, go to www.callawaygardens.com.
Throw dance party.
If your kids like to dance, cue up some classic tunes like “Dancing Queen,” by ABBA, and “I will Survive,” by Gloria Gaynor and rock out. My boys’ favorite dance tunes are “Cupid Shuffle,” by Cupid and “Cha Cha Slide” by DJ Casper. They really love it when my husband and I join in.
Learn a new skill.
Embrace your inner Robin Hood. Every Friday night at 7 p.m. is Kids Night at Archery Connection in Phenix City. Kids ages 5-16 are welcome to bring their bows and shoot in the kids league. The cost is $8. Kids will compete on the 35-lane indoor range at 10 yards. For more information, go to http://www.archeryconnection.net/
Haul out the craft supplies and set up a home Hallmark business. Let your children create their card with stickers, glitter, cut-out magazine photos, or whatever else they like. Then you ask them what they want to say to the recipient, and you write it inside. When the weather clears up, let your child stamp the envelope and slide it into a nearby mailbox.