Chill In (and Out!)

Cabin Fever  Family Activity Survival Guide
compiled by Paula Herrmann, Founder
Just Add Kids

It’s Polar Vortex Part Deax.  Once again, we’re trapped in our homes due to the subzero temps. So let’s tap into some of the ideas posted out there on the social media sites and those activities we have access to and are good fallbacks in good and bad weather.  Although pretty cool, after PVI, I hope not to see another video of water being thrown into the air for awhile!

Just Add Kids Cabin Fever Family Activity Guide with JAK logo (2)

1) Make Water balloon Ice Marbles. Needed: latex balloons, food coloring, kitchen tap water, snow bank!
No School balloons (2)

2) Blow bubbles into the chilly air. Heated up your bubble solution so that it’s warm or even hot to the touch. Blow several bubbles into the frigid, sub-freezing air. Catch with a wand if you can and watch it turn into a crystal fragile ball.  Needed: store bought bubbles or home concoction.

3) Make snow!  Throwing boiling water (away from you/downwind) into the frigid subzero dry air will cause it to evaporate almost instantly. Needed: pot, water, stove!

4) Freeze your shirt! Wash/wet & ring out a shirt, hang on a hanger outside in the bitter cold. It’ll freeze in a very short period of time! Hey, that’s a cool shirt you’ve got there.

5) Make a sofa-fort!
sofa fort

6) Bake cookies! Your recipe. Great activity you can do with peeps ages toddler thru teen. Feed the stomach, warm up the house! Success!
cookies peeps (2)

7) Cozy up together and watch a movie! Dig into your old VHS’s and share your childhood favs, if you can. Nothing is better than some of the classics. (see new posting, #11)

8) Puzzletime! Sometimes attacking a 500 piece puzzle can be daunting, but once you get into it, it’s addicting. “Let’s-a go, little guys!”
puzzle mario

9) Ice Face, Baby! Finger drawing in frozen or moisture laden windows brings back so many memories of winter rides on the school bus. Is that JAK?
ice face baby

10) Snow Bath! Too cold for the kiddos to play in the yard? Well, bring the snow inside. Use your tub! Make a snowman, a snow fort, have fun. Dress appropriately….coat, snow pants, boots, and mittens are still necessary.

photo credit: ABC7 Chicago

photo credit: ABC7 Chicago

11) Watch FROZEN for free! Got 125 minutes to fill? It’s PG and free. Pop the corn, snuggle up, and enjoy. Here’s the link:

Frostbit? Watch The Nut Job, instead….(PG, 1 hour 26 minutes) Here’s the link:
The Nut Job

12) Lego Ninjago Snakedown in the snow (in the bathroom)! Or of course, substitute with Lego Friends, or Polly Pockets, or Littlest Pet Shop, etc.!
Max playing Ninjago in the snow 2 Max playing Ninjago in the snow


We’ll add more ideas to this list. We encourage any freaking awesome feedback from YOU! You can comment or email JAK at


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    […] I am not much of a history buff, due in part, to a lack of interest. Yah, slap me! Though it seems the older I get, the more interested I get.  As a resource for you parents, and for myself as a mom, perhaps it’s time to put those “what’s all the hubbub about MLK day, anyway?” panties on and re-educate myself. I mean, I know I had to have learned about it in elementary school, right? And the fact that this day, the third month of January, is an annual federal holiday must mean it’s of historical, and more importantly, societal significance. Right? So here goes, JAK’s MLK 101  Read more in JAK Chat… […]

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