How to Fight a Child's Cabin Fever

Posted by Shannon Serpette on 1/16/2017 to Parenting Tips
how to combat a child's cabin fever

Winter can be a difficult season for young children. They aren’t yet ready for spending too much time out in the harsh elements, and they haven’t mastered the art of building snowmen or throwing snowballs either. All that time spent inside can drive them crazy, even if they don’t know how to vocalize it yet.

Having a cranky toddler to deal with every day can wear down even the best of parents. What you need is a plan. Here are some tips for finding suitable winter activities for your child that will help get everyone in your household through the last few weeks of this season.

Let Them Burn Off Some Energy

Take them anywhere they are free to run around with wild abandon. Maybe there’s a pool at your gym, or you can get a day pass at an indoor water park. Letting them splash around will lift their spirits, and it will make you happy to see them having so much fun.

Or you can find a hands-on museum with age appropriate activities for them. Kids love places where they get to do something and they can move around as their attention span dictates. A children’s museum is the perfect place for that. They’ll be having fun and they won’t even know they’ll be learning things in the process. That’s a double win for you.

Arrange a Playdate

Your friends who have children are probably having the same problem you are. Set up a playdate with one of your friends and let your children go wild while you sit back and have a cup of coffee and an adult conversation. Your child will have a chance to strengthen or make a new friendship, and he’ll be learning how to play nice with others.

Find Somewhere He’ll Have to Pay Attention

This may seem like something that could blow up in your face – a toddler being quiet and paying attention? How is that going to help his pent-up energy? But if he’s truly absorbed in what he’s doing, he won’t notice that he’s being quiet and paying attention won’t seem like a struggle.

See if your library offers a weekly story hour for young children – most do. The librarians who read the books aloud are well versed in keeping children entertained, both with their tone of voice and their book selections.

A movie theater is another great choice, as long as the movie is something geared toward your child’s age group. Taking him to a movie you want to see almost guarantees that he won’t be interested in it, unless you prefer cartoons.

Give Them Some Grandparent Time

If you’re lucky enough to have grandparents living nearby, make sure your child gets adequate time with them. Not only will he be making precious memories, they’ll get a kick out of getting to see him, spoiling him and handing him right back to you.

Spending time with a loved one who has the energy and desire to keep up with their constant movements and chatter makes a child feel special and important.

Shannon Serpette is a mother of two and an award-winning journalist and freelancer who lives in Illinois. She can be reached at