By Interactive Metronome, Bricole Reincke - December 5, 2013
I’ve Got a Fever and the Only Prescription is IM-Home
Earlier this month we talked about the importance of physical activity for children, especially those with ADHD. But let’s face it, a few weeks of being stuck inside because of cold weather and shorter daylight hours is enough to drive anyone crazy. It’s boring. It’s dark. It’s depressing. We even have a term for it, “cabin fever,” that conjures up images of frontiersmen trapped inside an Old West mountain cabin during a grueling winter, desperate to stay alive through the cold nights.
Even though modern man has conquered much of our environment, we still find ourselves stuck inside from time to time. Maybe it isn’t the cold; a rainy week in Florida could keep the kids inside despite a pleasant 70oF temperature. So, here are some tips to keep active and stay sane when the walls feel like they are closing in:
· Get Crafty – Dealing with wintry weather is a big part of the holidays; Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s celebrations and even Valentine’s Day are all celebrated during colder months. This is a perfect opportunity to break out the scissors and glue and get creative. Children can help create place settings and table displays for holiday dinner parties, Christmas and Valentine’s cards, Halloween costumes and holiday decorations like tree ornaments. Plus, craft time not only provides hours of family fun, but homemade ornaments have more sentimental value and a much lower price tag.
· Take a Trip…with Your Imagination – Remember the Reading Rainbow theme song, “I can go anywhere…I can be anything…take a look, it’s in a book.” Take reading to the next level; act out parts of the story with your children. Use craft time to create decorations that will turn bedrooms and kitchens into far away castles, ships and wonderlands. Let your child get dressed up and act out, but in a good way. Acting requires reading skills, fine motor control, memory, creativity and physical activity. If you don’t want to turn your home into a theatre, try having your children draw pictures as you read aloud. Envisioning the story and creating original artwork is another way to work on creativity and motor skills.
· Dance Party – Unless you live in Bomont, you probably like to dance. In fact, you may like to dance so much that you held your prom at a flour mill in a neighboring town. Dancing is a total body workout that will engage the larger muscle groups in the legs and core, helping to build lean muscle and vital capacity. Responding to musical cues helps develop rhythm and timing, and singing along to the lyrics can help breath control and speech fluency.
· Cook Up Some Fun– It is like craft time with a delicious treat at the end. Sure, maybe your kids shouldn’t be using mixers and measuring out flour or sugar, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help. If you don’t want to spend all day cleaning up the fun, have your children help with other tasks. Need someone to read the recipe while you gather supplies? Would you like an extra set of hands to stir ingredients? Plenty of kitchen tasks are clean and low risk. Getting your children in the kitchen now may help them become more responsible, independent young adults. Cooking involves a lot of focused attention, sensory control, fine motor skills, creativity, planning and sequencing. After all, one day your children will need to make their own meals.
· Try the New IM-Home Universe – Bring the clinic into your home. If your child is dealing with a cognitive deficit or condition that is keeping them from performing at their peak, the long days could afford an opportunity to work on rhythm and timing. The 11 all new games on IM Universe are a great way to motivate kids to get active and learn. Before long, your children will be asking you if they can play Monkey, Hoops, Space Invaders and Fishin’. Between the 28 new wallpapers, background music, avatars and user-friendly interface, the possibilities are endless.
Although being stuck in the house can seem boring, avoid the urge to turn on the television to fill that void. Instead, enjoy the time you have with your family. If the cold weather and lack of sun saps your energy and has you climbing up the walls, take a deep breath and think about all of the resources at your fingertips. Create learning opportunities for your children with simple household items and motivate them to stay active. Pretty soon you will realize that you have always had everything you needed right there in your cabin.