Many families will not be traveling this summer but rather will be trying to fit in play and rest in the form of a staycation. Having a vacation at home can incorporate all the best parts of regular vacation without the drawbacks like sleeping in strange places, having to pack and anxiety over the unfamiliar. For parents, there is usually a lot of planning and organization that goes with getting ready to go away with kids but the stress of that usually melts away when you pull away from your house because you know you are going to get a break from the everyday. The staycation means that you have to make a conscious effort to disrupt the usual routine in the comfort of your own home. It can be done but you have to plan a bit, but let’s face it, not nearly as much as if you were leaving home. Here are 5 activities to help you and your kids get excited about your staycation:
Picking a date for your staycation serves an important purpose. It gives everyone time to anticipate the vacation and get in the mood. Having time to imagine being on vacation gives all members of the family the opportunity to think about what they would like to do if they took a break from doing regular daily activities. Creating a countdown calendar together and crossing off each day, will keep the staycation in the forefront of everyone’s minds and will create excitement.
What does Summer Vacation Feel Like?
Play a game of what does Summer Vacation Feel Like to get a sense of what are the important aspects of vacation that you should strive to incorporate into your staycation to make it seem special. Obviously it can’t be exactly the same as going away but finding out some of the favourite experiences of each member can help you to pick satisfying activities for your staycation. Here are the questions that you can use to play: What does summer feel like?
- What smells remind you of summer vacation?
- What sounds create a summertime feeling?
- What pictures come to mind when I say summer vacation?
- Name 5 words to describe how summer feels to the touch.
- Name 5 foods that taste like summer.
Create a Summer Staycation Family Journal
Creating a family journal where everyone can record favorite moments, sights, sounds, and tastes of the summer staycation will keep everyone present and on the lookout for the best memories to record. Make the journal together using summer themed papers if possible and have fun colored pens and stickers to use for daily entries. Each day, at bedtime, you can sit and read everyone’s entries together.
Make a Flexible Daily Itinerary
Although it might be nice to do a bunch of nothing on your staycation, you might feel disappointed if you get to the end and find that you didn’t have any adventures or special memories. When you go away, you often do sightseeing, explore the unknown and/or visit with others. While it is nice to sleep in and relax, you also want to have some experiences that will make your staycation stand out from the everyday. If your family usually gets up really early on the day when you are traveling, maybe you could get up and go see a sunrise instead.
Make Sand and Water Fun Stations
Sand and water are big for summer vacations and staycations are no exception. While you may or may not feel comfortable going to a beach or pool this summer, there are many fun ways to incorporate these elements into backyard fun. Making a big bin of kinetic sand to play with can give everyone that beachy feeling. You can even add some shells to the mix for authenticity. To see our experience with making kinetic sand, click here. There are so many ways to incorporate water into backyard fun as well. You can make water sponges, turn on the sprinkler, use a kiddy pool or create a wet and wild obstacle course.
Planning out your vacation can actually create some great connection moments in and of themselves. Involving your children in planning will help to build their confidence that their opinions matter and in their ability to create their own fun. These activities will help you to bond and get excited about your upcoming staycation. Knowing in advance what everyone's wants and needs are, can make things go more smoothly and help to temper everyone’s expectations. So have some planning fun, anticipate the time of rest and play, and make some fantastic memories.
I am a Life Coach for Kids, offering programs, materials, and support that parents can use to help their children discover interests, set goals and intentions, and most importantly have fun in the process. I am passionate about learning, growth mindset, nature, and emotional wellness.
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