10 Fun Ways to Survive Cabin Fever {Homeschool Edition}

The weather has been pretty crazy as of late. Our weather here in the Midwest really has had trouble making up its mind. A few days of the “polar vortex” were followed quickly by temps in close to 60 degrees. I actually saw a few folks wandering around in tanks and shorts. There was even a whirl of a lawnmower our neighborhood this afternoon.

Of course, if you have lived a few years in a “temperamental” climate you understand that warmer days in the heart of winter cannot be trusted. It’s not for nothing that February in our part of the world has been referred to in some homeschool circles as “the longest month.”

It’s understandable. The hustle and bustle of the holidays have ended. You started out the year with stars in your eyes. You were ready to get back to a normal schedule. You attacked all the corners and cubbies in your house like an organizational madwoman. You showed up to co-op with brand new notebooks and freshly shopped pencils.

And then reality sets in. All that junk food from over the holidays is taking its toll. That normal schedule is elusive and all those corners and cubbies of your home seem to be reproducing all of the junk you’ve been trying to clear out. The weather certainly isn’t cooperating with your homeschool goals. Everybody is just a bit irritable and Spring seems So. Far. Away. And you just feel stuck.

Am I singing your tune?

It’s time to be a little unconventional. To break out tried and true tricks that can help combat cabin fever. It’s understandable to hope for the early arrival of spring. However, we also don’t want to be guilty of wishing away our days. It’s time to take them back and have some fun!

Here are 10 Fun Things to Survive Cabin Fever.

1. Take a Mental Health Day. Or days. For reals. My mental health day might look different than yours. It mostly involves a large stack of books, cups of hot tea and stretchy pants.

2. Drag out those board games. Set up tournaments. Have the kiddos create ribbons and trophies for the winners.

3. Have a “Chopped” competition for some of your kids who like to cook. What kinds of concoctions can they come up with? Or “travel” to another country and create a whole meal from that country. Be brave, my friends.

4. Encourage the inner couch potato and have a movie marathon of movies made from books by a favorite author or genre. Pop the popcorn. Do the whole bit.

5. Learn new hobbies like loom knitting, photography, or drawing with chalk pastels. There are oodles of tutorials found on the internet for new hobby learners.

6. Declare one day a week a certain theme day. You can choose your themes from eras in history or seasonal themes. Don’t flake out and plan a “Pajama Day.” That is just too obvious.

7. Make a stop motion movie using items found around the house. Or create a live action short film or stage production. There are plenty of opportunities for budding directors, costume designers or actors in such productions. My one and only son has been all the things and all the parts. It can be done.

8. Enjoy the snow when it comes! Take advantage of those activities one can only do in the snow.

Build snowmen or forts. And everyone needs to learn about the magic of snow angels. We always joke that we take our “snow days” in the spring. That is the truth. However, we make sure we leave a little time to play.

9. Hold a Dance-a-Thon. Put on some peppy music and see who can hold out the longest. My guess is that it won’t be you!

10. Get the whole crew involved in planning your summer vacation! Browse the travel sites and make a list of where you would like to visit. If a big vacation isn’t in your summer, search for places you can go locally when the weather gets warmer.

There you have it. Just a few ideas to inspire you when those long nights and cold days seem extra-long and cold. One last thing for the mommas out there. Be sure you are taking care of yourself. Don’t neglect that good sleep and those fruits and veggies. Our bodies crave those things…especially during the winter months here in the Northern Hemisphere!

What does your family like to do when cabin fever sets in? Let us know in the comments!


A big thank you to Rebekah Teague of There Will Be a $5 Charge For Whining for writing this article.

For further inspiration you can check out these posts on my blog.

You can see how I’ve pulled off a Cooking School here.

Here is a list of 10 interactive sites you can use in your homeschool. Some of these perfect for cold, winter days.

I’ve created a series of winter-themed notebook activities. You can find all of them here.

And don’t miss my latest post featuring my favorite Homeschool Podcasts and Encouraging Videos.

1 thought on “10 Fun Ways to Survive Cabin Fever {Homeschool Edition}”

  1. Great ideas, Rebekah! I’ve always wanted to do the “Chopped” idea with my adult children and their spouses. I’ve not thought of letting the younger children give it a whirl. I’m almost afraid to think of what they might create but it would definitely be fun! The key issue here is we would actually have to taste it!
    When my girls were little, I let them clear the refrigerator of any leftovers and expired items. They used them to “cook” with before we tossed them. They made such a mess but had a great time. We never ate any of that “cooking.” 🙂
    However, they both turned out to be excellent cooks by the time they were teens.


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