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Experts Suggest Cures For Kids’ Cabin Fever During Bitter Blast

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GLEN COVE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — With no end in sight to the bitter cold, many parents have been left at their wit’s end.

CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff went in search of the cure for cabin fever, as parents struggle with the challenge of keeping kids busy indoors.

It is much too cold for the playground, and the little ones have been casting glum looks. So what is a parent to do?

“There is no question that it is a challenge,” said Nancy Petito, a mother of four from Glen Cove. She said she cannot put the children out to play by themselves, “and mom doesn’t like the cold.”

Experts at Kids by the Bunch in Glen Cove have offered some advice. They said children need to burn off steam, and the solution is to get them moving indoors.

Caretakers can crank the tunes and invite neighbors over for a dance contest or freeze dance. Or they can get the kids cooking and make it a teaching moment.

The kids can make such concoctions as English muffin pizza or fruit kabobs, experts said.

“We can also teach them patterns, as well as healthy eating,” said Anne Hogan, a teacher at Kids by the Bunch.

Caretakers can also turn a cold day into a theme day.

“They can Google authors on their birthdays, and they can celebrate — Dr. Seuss,” Hogan said.

And when the parents need a break, they can break out the Legos. With “The Lego Movie” soon to come out, what’s old is new again.

Audra Lianos, the owner of Core Fitness and a fifth grade teacher, said older kids love competition.
She advised setting a timer and turning household chores into a game.

“Time them for 15 minutes,” she said, “and if you have two children, you can challenge them against each

She advised that folding laundry, cleaning out junk drawers and even dusting can be fun for kids. They may even jump for joy sorting socks that parents throw up into the air.

“You want to keep them off of their iPads, off of the couch — just keeping them moving,” Lianos said.

Parents can also get their kids out shoveling snow. Fitness experts said it is OK to bundle them up, supervise, limit the time outdoors, and make it a game with the winner being whoever does a better job. You will get your driveway shoveled and burn off that cabin fever.

Child care professionals also said parents should get moving indoors, as kids are motivated by what they see their parents doing.

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