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Challenge: Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever Cures for Your Little Artist

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Oh, the weather outside is frightful… And cabin fever is far from delightful! With winter weather comes the need to stay indoors, which can be torturously boring for adults and children alike. If your student is sick of doodling, you may need a more exciting craft!

When it’s too cold to go outside, keep your little artist entertained inside with these five creative activities:

Make patterns in Kinetic Sand

For a low-mess activity, let your little one try pressing various textures into Kinetic Sand. This item is a sensory table favorite, as it can be used to simply smoosh for fun or to create a sand castle. Can he or she make a pattern in formed or flattened sand using items from around the house? Alphabet magnets, cookie-cutters, and rubber stamps can all be great additions, for instance. Stay close by to supervise if the items pose a choking hazard, but other than that, you can let your student freely explore the texture and create patterns and designs over and over again.

Get spinning with the Spirograph

Children with a bit more patience (and age) can try the Spirograph for pattern-making fun. This retro favorite has been entertaining children for decades. Grab the discs and some pens, then start making intricate designs and baffling patterns.

Make your own fingerpaint

To distract bored little hands, make your own non-toxic fingerpaint using items found in your kitchen. Search online for an exact recipe; it will likely be a combination of corn starch, sugar, water, and food coloring. Create the paint on your stovetop and then let your child get creative after it cools. Remember that the food coloring may stain surfaces, so be sure to use this craft in a controlled (perhaps cling wrap-covered) environment.

Create miniatures using Shrinky Dinks

Older children can check out Shrinky Dinks to create miniatures, models, jewelry, and other DIY crafts. This shrinkable surface allows students to draw whatever they want—or in some sets, fill in the pre-drawn photos—and turn it into a smaller, harder charm. The finished doodle should be cut out and cooked in the oven with adult supervision. Look through your oven window with your child to see the Shrinky Dink wiggle and warp until it flattens out as a smaller item. Once it has cooled, attach magnets, string, or chain to make it into an accessory or a gift.

Learn to make origami

Grab an origami set or simply jump on YouTube to learn how you can create these famous paper sculptures. While origami paper creates a cleaner product, you can grab lightweight notebook paper or even printer paper if you don’t have the right supplies at home. Can your student make a bird? What about a bear? A cat? See how intricate the folding can get, and then find a place to display the new creations.

For more tips and strategies to help your student succeed in school, visit

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