Spring vacations for most families have now turned into "Staycations." And, the time off from school is turning out to be much longer than expected. Although, it may be disappointing to not be able to take that planned trip, you can still make sure you and your kids have fun while stuck at home. As a bonus, the time you spend together will be cherished and remembered for years to come. Here's some quick ideas of how to keep the days new and exciting.
1. Get Cookin'. Making a meal together with your kids is a wonderful way to spend quality time while also accomplishing a necessary task. With discouragement from going to public places quickly becoming the norm, meal planning will become a focal point of the day. Encourage kids to get involved, no matter the age. Kids can read recipes, gather ingredients, stir mixtures and plate and serve the meals. Give them some decision-making powers, like creating the menu. You never know—this may be the time your kids get adventurous and try some new foods (hopefully, veggies, right?).
2. Sightsee—Virtually. So, you can't actually travel to some popular tourist destinations right now. Don't let that stop you from still viewing artwork, animals or nature at museums, zoos or national parks. Tour famous art museums through Google Arts & Culture's site. Options include places such as New York's MoMA or Paris' The Louvre. Learn how animals naturally cohabitate by watching live cams at some of the most popular attractions, such as San Diego Zoo or the Georgia Aquarium. Of course, seeing the splendor of the outdoors can be a calming distraction. Go on a virtual tour of majestic Yellowstone, Hawai'i Volcanoes or Carlsbad Caverns. All of these spots are also good starts to perhaps planning a real vacation to visit some of these manmade or natural wonders.
3. Exercise Every Day. It's important to keep up a healthy, active routine. Set aside plenty of outdoor time each day to exercise muscles and minds. Fresh air and activity will keep kids more physically and mentally fit to face challenges better. Without structured dance or karate classes or sports practices and games to attend, it's up to you to devise ways to keep kids moving. Yikes! Walks around the neighborhood and riding bikes or scooters will occupy them from time to time. A longer attention-grabber, though, would be a Springfree Trampoline. With safety at the center, it delivers on all the aspects you need right now. A fun distraction, safe play, and right in your backyard! Plus, jumping on trampolines has been associated with relieving anxiety and stress and increasing vitamin D to help boost the immune system. Add on a FlexrHoop for slam-dunk games. You can have your own March Madness at home.
4. Roll, Shuffle and Deal. Although, these words sound like dance moves, I'm actually referring to a more subtle activity—games! It's time to evaluate your board games, card games and puzzles. Devote time to game night and gather all family members to participate. Many skill sets are used during game play: reading, following directions, sharing, competitiveness and more. But, most of all—entertainment!
5. Become an Artist. Every kid has artistic and creative abilities. With a lot of extra downtime, it's perfect for creating mini masterpieces. Offer kids paint, crayons, clay, and, yes, even slime. Chalk is also a great medium to use as it has a dual purpose—getting children outside. Use the sidewalk or your trampoline mat as an alternative canvas. Perhaps you have a hesitant artist who may need a little coaxing. Right now, famous illustrator Mo Willems is guiding kids through doodling lessons online. Also, many local art teachers are offering up resources to encourage artistic expression. Check out this cool robot-themed week.
6. Camp Out (or In). Pitch a tent in the backyard or in the living room. Roast s'mores on the patio fire pit or in the fireplace. Sing songs. Stargaze and remember that the universe is a magnificent place and all will be aligned soon again.