How your family can crush cabin fever

(BPT) - It’s not always easy to be at home with kids day after day, but with a little creativity, you can beat cabin fever. Whether you're in your own backyard or venturing out, there are plenty of things you can do to have fun together. Make sure to choose activities that are age-appropriate and that follow your current local guidelines for social distancing.

Here are just a few things to try.

Get out in nature

Visit nearby parks or scenic areas for fresh air and exercise. Choose locations that aren’t crowded, so social distancing isn’t difficult. Bring toys for the kids, like balls, kites, hula hoops, scooters or bikes.

Play tourist

Pretend your car is a tour bus. Let Mom or Dad play tour guide first, modeling what to say (serious and/or funny). Drive by picturesque or unusual locations and make up the “tour” as you go along. Then let your kids take a turn narrating the “sights” as you drive.

Plan a celebratory parade

Have a friend or family member with a birthday, anniversary or graduation to celebrate? Plan a drive-by parade with a few other family groups in cars, complete with signs, streamers and balloons. Honk, wave and sing as you slowly pass their home.

Enjoy a treat with the family

Visit a Sonic Drive-in for a treat everyone will love. Contactless ordering and payment are easy using the Sonic app: just create and pay for your order in the app, drive to your nearby SONIC, and check in when you arrive via the app. A Sonic Carhop brings out your meal when it’s ready.

Sonic Wacky Pack Kids Meals always come with a fun toy for kids, and Sonic has a real treat in store until Aug. 2: Kids 3 and up will receive a collectible Hot Wheels Monster Truck exclusively at Sonic with their meal. Wacky Pack Kids Meals include choice of Jr. Burger, Corn Dog, Grilled Cheese, Crispy Tenders or Hot Dog, and they’re served with Tots, Fries or Tree Top Apple Sauce, plus Minute Maid 100% Apple Juice or 1% milk jug.

Check out SonicWackyPack.com for free, downloadable activity packs that include coloring sheets, puzzles and games to entertain the kids while stuck at home.

Make washing the car an event

If there’s a touchless car wash nearby, young children will have a blast being in the car during the washing process. Turn up their favorite songs while you sit back and watch the suds and water do their work. Or you could involve the kids in washing the family car in your driveway.

Go on a scavenger hunt

Whether you’re walking or driving through the neighborhood, play “I Spy” or hunt for specific items — like a red car, a blue house, a large dog — or search for signs, rainbows or teddy bears in neighbors’ windows (a trend sweeping the nation while people are staying home).

Make the most of your own yard

You’d be amazed how much kids can appreciate their own yard, with just a little help.

  • Create an obstacle course using large cardboard boxes, hula hoops, cones or other items from your garage.

  • Make bubbles with 1 part dish soap to 3 parts water, adding a little sugar (1-2 teaspoons). Stir the mixture gently. Use pipe cleaners or cut out the bottom of plastic water bottles to create wands.

  • Use sidewalk chalk to draw hopscotch and other games, plus pictures and hopeful messages for neighbors walking by.

  • Find veggies or flowers your kids want to grow and involve them in gardening projects.

  • Dig through your garage for neglected toys and games. When did your kids last play badminton or croquet? Or make your own games, like jump rope, cornhole or horseshoes, using household items. Search online for tips on crafting homemade games.

Take a trip down memory lane

Scour your memory and ask grandparents about outdoor games from when you (or they) were children. Have grandparents explain how to play their games via phone or FaceTime. Then, video kids playing the games for the whole family to share!

Spending time together, outside or in, creates special memories your kids will treasure as they grow up — making all your efforts worthwhile.

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