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Boredom Beaters

Tara Sgroi

One mom asks: "What are some fun ways to beat cabin fever this winter?"
 -- Kristin, mom of Madeline, 3, and Avery, 17 months, Corvallis, OR

1. Played Candy Land one too many times? Try adding a twist that involves some activity (for instance, a red card means you move to a red square, spin around, and do ten jumping jacks).

2. Turn off the TV and send your kids on an indoor scavenger hunt. Where's something round? Blue? Upside down?

3. Build a fort with couch cushions and blankets and crawl inside with a flashlight or this cool muffin-size light:night ($40). It's a rechargable lamp that's bright enough to read by and won't get hot  -- perfect for little fingers.

4. Back out the car so your child and a buddy can ride tricycles in the garage.

5. Have your kids put a quarter in a jar for every "I'm bored!" they utter. You put a dollar in for every "I'm going insane!" Then go on a hot-chocolate outing with the money you collect.

6. Yes, it's a pain to bundle everyone up, but go out for a ten-minute blast of fresh air. It'll brighten your mood (or make you grateful to get back inside!).

7. Throw a pool party in the bathtub  -- no soap allowed.

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