The fireworks of the Fourth may be over, but the sparks ignited by cabin fever blast on … and on … and on. Almost a year ago to the month I expressed my lamentations of sweating through an Arizona summer with pre-toddler twins and an older singleton toddler. Here I am again—sweating– this time with two toddlers and a busy preschooler. I won’t even attempt to ask which scenario is better (or worse). The point is: it’s 112 degrees outside, and tempers are equally high inside. What is a mom of multiples to do when sweat, boredom, tempers and tirades threaten her serenity?
Book a Trip to the Library
If heat or havoc is preventing you from familial summer bliss, local libraries can be a perfect antidote. “We hit our small town library once a week for a change of scenery and a fresh set of books for the kids,” says Kristi Reynolds, mom to 5-year-old twin girls, a 7-year-old, and an 11-year-old. In addition to a change of pace and infinite paper adventures, libraries often have summer reading programs and children’s workshops.
Although a water escape appears as a no-brainer in excessive heat, it can require great effort for a M.O.M—twice (or more) the SPF application, toys, snacks, liquid refreshment, and will power. Still, an early-morning water excursion may be worthwhile, especially if you can head out as early as humanly possible. Carolyn Ascencio, a mom of teenage twins sought refuge at local water parks when her boys were younger. “That definitely kept us busy during the summer,” says Ascencio. If the pool, water parks, and splash pads aren’t in your age (or sanity) range, try sprinklers, blow-up pools, or even a water balloon fight (if you dare).
“A” is for Adult
The ABC’s of cabin fever survival rely heavily on the “A” in my opinion. Adult companionship and empathy does wonders for a sweating and/or serenity depleted mom of multiples. In fact, says Amy Gerak, mom of boy/girl 5-year-olds, “Adult interaction is the key to having a good time in the summer!” Apply the theory of “there’s power in numbers.” Pack up your blended broods and head to a museum, movie, or indoor playground. Let the littles run wild and let you wind down with a friend.
I don’t know about you, but my 3-year-old twins crave structure. The concept of all day “free play” in our home typically evolves into “free” fighting, destruction and misery (for all parties involved). My solution: mini school. Even a teeny-tiny structured morning of age-appropriate educational worksheets, crafts, and summer reading does wonders to bring balance. My 5-year-old loves it too!
Fight Apathy with App Therapy
Now what kind of App author would I be if I didn’t include this option? Apps, unlike many former video-game predecessors, have an infinite number of multiple-child friendly options. Whether educational or entertaining, Apps can appease and please cabin-fevered children (and their parents) like no other! I recommend Pre-K Letters and Numbers, Tapikeo HD, TeachMe: Kindergarten, PlayART by Tapbook and Monkey Preschool Lunchbox for the educational realm. For wide age range entertainment (with a few social and learning skills thrown in), try Sparky the Shark, Felt Board, Sound Touch, Wubbzy’s Pirate Treasure and last, but definitely not least, The Pete and Sneakers Bath and Bedtime Show, by yours truly.
Erin Davis, author of storybook App, The Pete and Sneakers Bath and Bedtime Show is a mom of three girls (ages 5 and under). When not creating Apps or running after twins and preschooler, Erin writes for various publications and daydreams about sleeping.