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Cabin Fever? Art is the Answer!

Winter weather often leads to extended periods indoors both at home and at school. Art activities are a wonderful way to help curb cabin fever! Here are a few suggestions that can be easily incorporated into the home environment.

Homemade Play Dough

I recently made Kool-Aid Play Dough for the classroom and highly recommend it! An added benefit is that the children can help make it.

You will need:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup salt

1 envelope (0.13 oz. to 0.23 oz.) KOOL-AID Unsweetened Drink Mix, any flavor

2 tsp. cream of tartar

1 cup water

1 Tbsp. oil


Mix first 4 ingredients in medium saucepan until blended. Stir in water and oil.

Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, or until mixture forms ball, stirring frequently.

Transfer to plate and let it cool slightly.

—Recipe from Kraft

While the children enjoy traditional play dough tools such as rolling pins and cookie cutters, it is helpful to switch these out now and then with novel items to maintain interest. The children love making impressions in the play dough with rubber stamps, making animal tracks with plastic animal figurines and making car/truck tracks with small toy vehicles.


I recommend using either a glue stick or a small dish with traditional glue and a small paint brush. You will also need base paper and items to glue. There are so many variations for gluing items: pieces of ribbon, items from nature, fabric, scrapbook paper, tissue paper, pasta, etc! In the classroom, we often color photocopy pages from sticker books – such as Melissa and Doug – and cut out the images for the children to glue.


As with play dough, the children love painting with a variety of items. A favorite painting activity is making a painting using toy cars and trucks. Simply dip the wheels into some paint and “drive” the vehicles across the paper! Empty toilet paper rolls can be used as is or molded into a shape like a heart and dipped into paint to make an impression on the paper.

If you are looking for some additional inspiration, First Art for Toddlers and Twos: Open-Ended Art Experiences by MaryAnn F. Kohl is a wonderful resource!

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