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8 Ways To Beat Cabin Fever In and Out of School

Next to my childhood home, we had a business that would plow their snow into a big pile and each winter I would have a huge hill to play on. I would make forts, snowmen, and my favorite sledding down what I thought was a huge mountain. Some of you may not have snow where you live, that is pretty lucky when it gets way below freezing here and all I want is to be warm again. 
Each winter, I see not only myself, but everyone around me, including my students suffer a little cabin fever. This year, I am going to be hosting an after school class called, Cabin Fever Club! 


Those of you that follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest know how much I love to share all of the fun after school classes that I facilitate and this club surely is a potpourri of everything I have done rolled up into one class. The key is to motivate my students and tie in learning tasks. 

Each one of the evenings will allow me to utilize reading whether non-fiction or a relatable topic followed up with a hands on activity that ties in science, social studies, math, and reading! It is sprinkled with STEM engineering design challenges that will have my students excited about February and March like never before...I also want to help you find ways to add some interactive activities to your day or after school or family night events. 

I offer three nights a week in six week increments of virtual STEM fun along with different hands on activities for students to do. Here are some of the ideas for my after school club:


1. Home Depot wood kits (we are doing tic tac toe), we reached out to them to see if they would donate to us. If your hosting a family night, reach out to local businesses to see if they can help!



2. We partnered with a garden center and are doing microgreens, flowers, and vegetable seeds. We received a donation by a gas station plastic containers for the plants to have their own little green house. I just asked them if they were interested in helping us, and they said yes! They will be doing virtual tours of a greenhouse, helping us learn about plants, and even taking a virtual tour of how they compost! Garden centers are often willing to help if you publicize where you received a donation!

3. Snowman making kits which include felt scarves and mittens and rocks for the eyes and mouth.  We had donated fabric so we found a way to use what we had! 



4. We included STEM goodies such as toilet paper tubes, tape, string, foil, white paper, cups, pink and red paper, and more. I used what I had around the classroom and in the recycle bin. We will focus on science and holiday STEM challenges to sprinkle into our week. STEM can be done independently, virtually, or for any family night. This year, STEM club events are held virtually. 

5. We will be creating a winter animal out of recycling to focus on adaptations, hibernation, and migration. We play science scavenger hunt, which allows students to run around to find items that they can use in their homes! Kids are very creative with what they find and can use.

6. We will also be focusing on making bird feeders out of a water bottle (full of water) for them to use, this can also be a great greenhouse. This is an inexpensive solution to making sure kids have items to use that is safe and clean.

7. We are doing an egg hunt in our school neighborhood after painting rocks that with paint we send home. We will have an egg hunt for prizes after they hand in the rocks in March! They can win baskets of goodies along with the students at our school. You turn in a painted egg that you turn in for a prize. One prize per family. 

8. We are also going to the zoo on vacation! The San Diego Zoo has a great variety of animals that have live cams and we will be taking a trip per week that will go along with what we are learning about. I am thinking we can go somewhere warm and plot it on a map for us to link technology and social studies! Each student is getting a map and a record sheet to be able to find out how many miles we are going on our trip and we will determine how long it would take us in a car. We will be utilizing places that our families can go for free and providing a list for them so that they can get out of the rut of being indoors.  Check out the San Diego Live Animal Cams!



Along with the supplies: think about themes such as Winter, Snow, and Valentines. We will focus on recycling projects, but also include Valentine's Day STEM from my Valentine's Day STEM pack found here!



No matter how you involve your students in the dull drums of winter or in our case two months without a break, I hope these ideas inspire you and motivate your students as well! 


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