With each passing birthday, holiday and special occasion, it’s hard not to let hope escape out the back door. Part of me just wants to pout and throw a toddler-sized tantrum over all the things that are cancelled. But the truth is, my kids don’t care near as much as I do that we’re stuck at home. What they do care about is who gets the first morning snuggles from mom, what we’re having for snack and when we can play a game. Their world has been made smaller, but I think it has actually increased their joy and appreciation of the simple things. We adults have a lot to learn from these little humans that run wild in our homes . . . like how to ignore the chaos and enjoy the wonder right in front of us.
What’s A Staycation?
One of the best ways to break out of a mundane week and make some memories is to plan a staycation. A staycation is a little mini vacation, right in your own home. It can be a whole weekend, or just a few hours – it just needs to be a planned break from the normal routines. The benefits of any vacation are found in rest and play. So how can be bring these principles into the home and create a staycation? I’ve got a few ideas.
Backyard Campout (Or Living Room Sleepover)
If you have a backyard that is suitable and camping gear at hand, set up a tent in the backyard and treat it like a night away from home. Plan a menu that you can do over the BBQ or an outdoor stove – s’mores and hot dogs are always staples on our camping trips! If the weather is warm, you could even set up a kiddie pool in the backyard for some “beach” time with water balloons and squirters! Another option is to set up a living room sleepover inside your home. Move mattresses, blankets and pillows and build a fort to sleep under all together. Bonus points for stringing twinkle lights!
Rent a new release on demand, or simply pick a family-friendly flick from a streaming service like Netflix or Disney+. Make some simple theatre tickets with a set show time, butter up the popcorn and set up a concession for family members to purchase their favourite movie snacks before the show starts. If you feel extra creative, plan some pre-show trivia questions and silly entertainment. If you have a projector, take the movie outside and turn it into a drive-in experience (weather permitting of course.)
A Day At The Carnival
Carnival days are the happiest of days. Food, music, games and fun around every corner. Recreate a carnival experience at home by making some interactive game stations and having everyone compete for some simple prizes. Add in some face painting and food truck snacks to make it an authentic carnival day. Search the internet for some game ideas or create your own using things around the house . . . like nerf gun target practice or pop can bowling. Finish off the day by going on some virtual roller coaster rides at Canada’s Wonderland – they feel so real, you might want to have a bucket handy!
Choose your theme or special ingredients and have your very own baking or cooking competition! Whether it’s boys against girls or parents against kids, face off to see who can create the most impressive dish. Send final pictures to friends and family, or post it to social media and have them vote on who the winner should be. Winner gets bragging rights . . . losers have to clean up the kitchen!
Looking for more tips on how to keep your kids occupied during the COVID-19 crisis? Find our best ideas, activities and inspiration here!