How to Cope with Cabin Fever: Indoor Activities for Families During Extended Emergencies

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Written by Bernie Carr

In a disaster and its aftermath, you may get stuck indoors for several days. Families confined to small living spaces will likely experience cabin fever—a sense of restlessness or boredom due to prolonged indoor confinement. During Hurricane Harvey a few years ago, we were stuck indoors for several days, waiting for flood waters to recede. One of the activities I tried was making sourdough.

While challenges abound, there are numerous indoor activities and entertainment options that families can explore to cope with cabin fever and foster a sense of togetherness. In this guide, we’ll delve into a variety of engaging activities tailored specifically for families living in small spaces during extended emergencies.

Board Games: Timeless Fun for All Ages

Board games offer timeless entertainment and serve as a perfect remedy for cabin fever. Stock up on classic favorites such as Monopoly, Scrabble, and Uno, or explore modern board games tailored to different age groups and interests. Not only do board games provide hours of amusement, but they also encourage strategic thinking, communication, and friendly competition among family members.

Crafting Projects: Unleash Creativity Indoors

Engage the entire family in crafting projects to unleash creativity and foster a sense of accomplishment. From DIY art projects and scrapbooking to origami and jewelry making, the possibilities are endless. Utilize simple materials readily available at home, such as paper, scissors, glue, and recyclable items, to embark on imaginative crafting adventures that inspire bonding and creativity.

Indoor Picnics: Bring the Outdoors Inside

Transform your living space into a cozy indoor picnic area for a change of scenery and ambiance. Lay out blankets, cushions, and picnic baskets, and prepare an assortment of finger foods, snacks, and beverages for a delightful indoor picnic experience. Encourage family members to share stories, play games, or simply enjoy each other’s company in the comfort of your makeshift picnic spot.

Movie Marathons: Cinematic Escapes at Home

Movies are a great escape from stress, as long as you have some power (or a backup power source) to run a computer or watch on TV. Host movie marathons featuring family-friendly films and cinematic classics for a cinematic escape from boredom. Create a cozy viewing area with blankets, pillows, and dim lighting, and prepare popcorn and snacks for an authentic movie theater experience. Choose movies that appeal to all family members and take turns selecting films for a diverse and entertaining lineup.

Virtual Learning Resources: Educational Adventures from Home

Explore virtual learning resources and educational platforms to transform indoor time into enriching learning experiences for the whole family. From virtual museum tours and online language classes to interactive science experiments and educational games, there’s a wealth of educational content available online to inspire curiosity and learning at home. Encourage exploration and discovery through virtual adventures that stimulate the mind and spark creativity.

Fitness Challenges: Stay Active Indoors

Promote physical activity and wellness through indoor fitness challenges that get the whole family moving. Designate a dedicated workout area and explore fun and interactive fitness routines, such as yoga sessions, dance parties, and indoor obstacle courses. Incorporate friendly competitions and rewards to motivate family members and make staying active indoors a fun and enjoyable experience.

Storytelling Sessions: Imagination Knows No Bounds

Harness the power of storytelling to ignite imagination and creativity in small living spaces. Gather around and take turns sharing stories, anecdotes, or imaginative tales inspired by your surroundings or favorite characters. Encourage family members to use their imagination and creativity to craft captivating narratives that transport listeners to faraway lands and magical realms.

Mental Challenges: Activate your Brain

Stock up on crossword puzzles, Sudoku books, jigsaw puzzles and other challenging activities.

Keep some blank notebooks, decorative pens and pencils – start a journal and write about your experiences.

Conclusion: Embracing Indoor Adventures

In conclusion, coping with cabin fever during extended emergencies requires creativity, resourcefulness, and a spirit of adventure. By embracing indoor activities such as board games, crafting projects, movie marathons, virtual learning resources, fitness challenges, storytelling sessions, and indoor picnics, families can transform confinement into memorable experiences filled with laughter, bonding, and shared moments of joy. Explore these indoor adventures with your loved ones and make the most of your time together, even in the coziest of living spaces.


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About the author

Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Bernie’s latest e-book, FRUGAL DIY has just been released on Amazon. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and Clark.com, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.

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One comment

  1. This was a terrific read! One thing we discovered quickly during a recent extended power outage was acute boredom. So we pulled out the board games and proceeded to have a blast.
    Don’t underestimate the power of an Uno deck, my friends!

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