Cabin Fever Cure

by Heligirl on March 19, 2012

in Mom Tip Monday,Parenting Articles

Here in the Pacific Northwest, it’s been known to rain. A lot. Vampires live here don’t you know. When it comes to keeping the kids from climbing the walls, we get mighty creative here. Unlike warmer climates where rain means stay inside, we tend to bundle the little darlings up in raincoats, boots, hats and send them out in the storm to puddle jump, make mud pies and all the other stuff us Northwestern natives grew up doing.

My two, however, didn’t get this memo.

They hate being wet, and the wind bothers them, making them start whining and crying. So while I can get them out for a little bit, I need to get creative in other ways.

At home, we’ll have “dance party,” where we dance, run around, and boogie to the music. I must admit though that to protect my own sanity, we don’t limit it to kids songs. Their current favorite to dance to is “Baby Got Back.” I’m not in jeopardy of receiving mom of the year anytime soon.

We’ve made forts, played restaurant, played hide and seek, made a game out of cleaning, and had music and story times. I don’t really have an indoor playroom where we can run around too much so when it comes to burning off energy, I’ve had to get out.

We have our usual fallbacks – the aquarium, the science center, children’s museum, toddler playtimes at the community center, playdates at coffee shops with kid play areas, and the library.

Then this week I found a new winter escape – Sandbox Sports.

Talk about creative. This is an indoor sand volleyball complex where the teams we see playing in the summer out on the beech keep up their skills year-round. Rain or shine, the sand is fresh, clean and it never rains. But these teams don’t play during the week in the middle of the day.

Kids, however, do.

This past Fall the owners of Sandbox Sports purchased a ton of sand toys and started Lil Diggers, sessions for kids to play in the clean, sanitized sand away from the rain several times a week, even twice a day on some days, for $6 a child or $50 for a 10 visit punch card.

On our first visit last week it was raining sideways, hard. Inside the place was filled with kids running, digging, playing with beach balls, playing on the kiddie slides and otherwise burning off steam. You can bring your own sand toys, but Sandbox folks wash them to assure the sand stays clean.

No shoes are allowed in the sand so parents got to go barefoot too, playing alongside or just taking lots of pictures. And the snack bar was open so we could get a coffee or snack while we watched the kids too (though we couldn’t take food onto the sand).

At $12 a pop it’s a bit rich for our blood on a regular basis, but when it comes down to needing something new from the routine to mix it up and help burn off steam, this is a great outing. What a great find!

My mom tip for today is to explore your neighborhood for something out of the ordinary routine to mix up those yucky day escapes. Is there an indoor sand play area, kiddie pool, museum, arboretum or other fun or educational spot nearby? Be a tourist in your own town and discover the next great getaway.


Susan March 20, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Wow! What a great place to play. Wish there was something like that up here in Skagit County- and geared toward tweens. Yes, this winter has been more than rainy, and I thank goodness that my Little Man is old enough to take himself across the street to play with the neighbors, often. Although, I’m getting tired of the entrance to the house being a mess of muddy boots and shoes.
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Twitter: Heligirl
March 21, 2012 at 8:34 am

I hear you. I feel like I’m in constant search for entertaining things as their ages change. They’ve already outgrown the Children’s Museum and they’re tired of the aquarium. I can’t have more than about three memberships in my budget. The community centers do have some great tween/teen things. Have you looked into those?

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