By CASSIE TURNER
The key to surviving cabin fever is to celebrate the opportunity of family time.
It could be a great time to have a movie marathon of your favorite movies from when you were your kids’ age. It is a great way to start a new tradition in your family.
For a good laugh, pull out the photo albums of your younger years and your kids’ younger years. It is bound to produce a few good stories.
Time to tackle an organizing project you have been putting off? Make it into a game and include your kids.
The key is making it fun.
Engaging your children in fun educational activities is another way to encourage learning and enjoying each other. It also helps children maintain some of the structure that school provides.
There are lots of resources for ideas. You can find idea books at the library, online websites for hands on-learning, or social media sites.
Craft, experiment and activity ideas are plentiful. The best part is many of these ideas can be done with items already in your home.
Kitchen chemistry is a fun example of this. There are all sorts of websites and different resources to provide fun safe ideas to try with your children.
One example of this is at Life 123 web site, www.life123.com for parents. There are a variety of experiments for youth, including a fun one where using some basic science the child will make edible crystals very similar to rock candy.
For kids in 4-H, this is a great time to get a head start on projects. A new release is “Science Fun with Kitchen Chemistry.”
This project book was written by Kathy Blackford, extension educator and Stacy Cochran, a 4-H volunteer. It is a good guide to learning science principles in a very fun way.
An example of a simple experiment to try is Crazy Raisins. This is a simple activity you can do with a child.
1. Pour a clear soda into a tall glass and drop in three or four raisins.
2. Watch what happens. What is going on?
Raisins are more dense than soda, so they sink. The raisin surface is rough and, as carbon dioxide gas floats up, the bubbles stick to the raisin, lifting it to the top of the glass.
Once the gas is released at the surface, the raisins fall back down. This will continue until all the gas is released, making the soda “flat.”
This is a simple example of different kitchen chemistry experiments you could do with your child. The key is to keep their minds and yours engaged on the fun and learning, and not on the bad weather.
Spring will be in the air soon. In the meantime, utilize your resources and have a good time with your kids.
Turner is 4-H youth educator with the Ohio State University Extension Service in Findlay.
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