Avoid Cabin Fever with Lil Chameleon's CC Benitez

At the beginning of every school year, my son gets a calendar of school events, holidays and breaks. I quickly glance at it, and then it lands on the refrigerator, only for me to find in a panic a few days before whatever school break is upon us.

Winter break, which happens this year from February 19-23, is no different (although I did happen to burn these dates in my mind since the Christmas/New Year break seems like yesterday).

As a working mom of a 3.5 year old and small business owner, I’m constantly on the look-out for creative and affordable ways to entertain and engage.

So fear not, fellow parents! There are ways to make it through this upcoming break, and it doesn’t need to cost you a fortune to have fun or get out of the house. Here are a few of my favorite ideas:

1) Build a fort. It’s true--you don’t need to spend a fortune to have a blast. Pull your couch apart, get out some sheets and blankets, grab a few chairs and build a fort. You’re only limited by your imagination so let go for a bit. It’s quite refreshing to be 5 again.

2) Play tic-tac-toe. It’s a simple idea that seems almost too simple. But break out a blank piece of paper and a pen, draw the 9 section grid, go over the X and O rules with your kids and bring on the competition. Best 3 out of 5 games wins the choice of what you’re eating for dinner!

3) Have a picnic (on the floor). My family loves picnics so when it’s cold, we bring them indoors. Throw a table cloth or sheet on the floor, break out a few crackers, slice some cheese, cut up some fruit, and lay out other quick snack food. Grab the milk or juice boxes and you’re instantly transported to warmer weather and the sweet smell of grass. And meanwhile, you’ve turned snack time into fun time.

4) Draw a bubble bath for your lil one. There’s something special about a bath. Filling a bath with bubbles is a treat for just about anyone especially in the middle of the day. I’m personally a huge fan of Babyganics products, especially their bubble bath-- just a few drops go a long, long way! Seriously, I’ve never seen such plentiful, long-lasting bubbles. And for a limited time, if you spend $10 or more at Lil Chameleon in Tuckahoe, you’ll receive a free 2 oz Babyganics bubble bath bottle while supplies last. (and don’t tell your kids, but I never said this bubble bath had to be used just for them!)

5) Make popcorn with surprise seasonings. Popcorn. It’s popping power is so underrated. Whatever your popping method, the fun doesn’t need to stop there. Why not create a few popcorn seasonings to add some flavor to your healthy and delicious snack? Let the kids “get in the mix” so they can melt in a bit of butter, add spices, or sprinkle in cinnamon and sugar to create flavors all their own. Have blind taste tests and see if anyone can guess the various seasonings. I got this awesome idea from Lil Chameleon’s cooking coach, Chef Jen, who runs our popular cooking classes for lil chefs. It’s a hit in my house so I know it’s tried and true. 

You can’t take another minute in the house? Why not visit Lil Chameleon? But what is Lil Chameleon? I thought you’d never ask!

Lil Chameleon is a premiere resale boutique where you can buy, sell and trade some of your kids nearly-new clothes, toys, books and gear, and earn 30% in cash or 50% in store credit. With fun and unique items in nearly every price point, it’s a fun store to explore. There’s a self-serve café with snacks to savor while your lil ones play. And there are even free or low cost events to enjoy. For more info about everything Lil Chameleon offers, check out www.Lil Chameleon.com and take a peak at the classes and events. There are always a variety of activities, all while helping families with life’s lil things in mind.

Monday, Feb 19: Story time 10:00-10:30am NB-5yrs, Free

Wednesday Feb 21: Winter Bingo & Crafts in a Jar 4-5pm, 5-8yrs, $10pp

Thursday Feb 22: Mommy & Me Afternoon Tea & Trucks, 3:30-5pm, 2-5yrs, $5/family

Friday Feb 23: Lil Chameleon’s Footloose Friday ™ Dance Party at The Westchester Mall’s Connect Lounge 4:30-6pm, Free

-CC Benitez 

Lil Chameleon, 29 Elm St (free parking at Elm St and Yonkers Ave), Tuckahoe, NY 10707,

914-346-5148