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Monday, February 13, 2012

Curing Cabin Fever in Prescott

Art Therapy in the form of valentine-making

Prescott Public Library hosted a Cabin Fever Fest on Saturday, February 11 that was guaranteed to cure kids' winter blues. Dr. Becky diagnosed each child as they entered the meeting room - of course every single one had a bad case of cabin fever. She then gave each child a 'prescription' with a list of therapies they could take to cure their cabin fever. Art Therapy was a paper valentine craft; Play Therapy involved building racetracks out of paper towel and toilet paper tubes, then racing cars down them; Cognitive Therapy was a Scavenger Hunt to find things in the library, with a small prize for doing the hunt; Physical Therapy consisted of 2 indoor snowball fights, each lasting about 5 minutes; for Music Therapy, I played a couple of Putamayo kids tapes; and, finally, children visited the Pharmacy to get their medicine = microwave s'mores. Of course, every child was completely cured by the time the program was over.

I have to admit that inspiration for this program came from a listserv post where the poster described the racetrack-building activity. "What a perfect cabin fever activity," I said and we were off! The age range we targeted was 3-12 (plus parents/caregivers), but most of our attendees were 3-6 year olds. As it turned out, the local 4K program had a Cabin Fever open gym just before our activity, so most of our attendees came straight from there.

This program was pretty easy to organize. I used scavenger hunt sheets and prizes left over from National Gaming Day. The racetrack-building activity requires only paper tubes, tape and little cars - I raided my son's Matchbox car collection for those. The s'mores were popular and I think I'll make them again for a "Dream Under the Stars" camping event during the summer.

Play therapy with paper towel tubes and matchbox cars!

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