Posts tagged Family Fun
You don't have to venture far to experience the best of summer vacations with your loved ones.
July 1st, 2012 | 1:11 PM
By Heidi Ongman, guest blogger
A staycation is the art of staying local but acting like you are on a vacation. It is a great way to have some quality family time without the hassle and expense of a traditional vacation. The possibilities of things to do are endless and with some planning and preparation you are sure to create some amazing family memories.
First, suffer the typical pre-vacation stress that you would if you were actually going away. Clean your house, “pack” your clothes, pay bills, stock up on food, and let the office know you are on vacation. Being prepared is the most important part! You don’t want to spend your entire staycation looking for matching socks and running errands.
Also, decide as a family what everyone would enjoy doing and come up with a plan beforehand. Water parks, amusements parks, museums, and movies are all great places to spend time together as a family. The summer months are also full of free concerts, outdoor movies, festivals, and farmers markets. Decide before what you are going to do each day to avoid confusion and arguing. Here are a few more unique and creative ideas to make your staycation a success.
- Go back to school. Spend a day exploring a local college campus. College campuses have such a fun and exciting feel. Find a sporting event, check out the football stadium, buy some souvenirs at the bookstore, and eat some grub at the local hot spot.
- Visit some horses. Go out for a horseback ride, enjoy a local rodeo, or go and watch the horse races. You can’t go wrong with any of these ideas – kids love animals and cowboys.
- Turn your yard into a fun zone. Get out the slip ‘n’ slide, play your favorite music, BBQ, make s’mores, and end the night with an outdoor movie while sleeping under the stars. You could even splurge and rent an inflatable waterslide, with all the money you’re saving by not traveling.
- Find a last minute deal on a hotel room in your city. Stay the night, enjoy the pool, and let the kids eat room service in bed. You may only be a few miles from home, but you will feel like you are a thousand miles away.
- Learn about your local history. Do some research and learn about the unique and historical landmarks in your area and go visit them. You might be surprised!
- Experience a new adventure as a family. There is not much better for family bonding then doing something new for everyone together. Go zip lining, rafting, water skiing, rock climbing, indoor skydiving, or anything else that is out of the ordinary for your family.
Most importantly, just spend time together connecting and bonding as a family. Let the chores wait, turn off the phones, and have fun!
Our guest blogger is an active mom to four kids. She strives to inspire others to get out and explore this amazing world we all share through her blog at MyBlissfulBrood.com. With her passion for travel and adventure, she hopes to encourage other families to do the same!
Unplug, have fun, and be sure to follow the rules!
May 16th, 2012 | 9:36 AM
Heaven knows we all love our electronic devices. Who among us hasn’t woken up face down in a laptop, the imprint of the home row indented on our faces? Still; as much as these technological wonders keep us connected, they can also drive us apart. Time to put down the iPad, Mom, and rally the troops for an old-fashioned game night!
Step One: Unplug your family. Grab a basket or box and collect those cellphones, DS’s, and other e-distractions. Warning: Your moody teenager will resist this analog interaction. This is just the tech withdrawal talking. Once she owns a few railroads in Monopoly she’ll fall into a rhythm of family fun that’s undeniable.
Step Two: Gather a variety of age-appropriate games. Get Cranium, Scrabble, Scattergories, and Trivial Pursuit for the older kids. For the squirrely youngin’s, Scavenger for Kids and Kids on Stage are fun and funny games the encourage kids to move. Apples to Apples, Sorry, Monopoly, Life, Clue, and Yatzee are classics that the whole family will enjoy!
Step Three: Break into a game and get started! After a few game nights a pattern may begin to emerge. In my family, I am the type-A aunty who always has to read the directions before we begin. My 8-year-old niece, Hope, always sets up the board and chooses each player’s color or symbol (she’s a good girl and always gives her aunty the top hat in Monopoly)! My nephew Gavin keeps the pace of the game moving – though sometimes he skips his sister to take his turn. We’re working on it.
Step Four: Snacks. Something healthy enough that you can graze on it for hours, but yummy enough that you will want to graze on it for hours. I like fruit and veggie wedges with peanut butter, ranch dressing, or hummus. Popcorn is also an easy way to go, and it’s great for throwing at the offender when someone bumps you back to start in Sorry!
Additional Info: It is especially important to play a fair game and follow the rules with kids. Games teach kids to be patient and wait their turn, to follow directions, to be strategic and weigh their options, and how to be a good winner or loser.
This weekend turn off the TV, pick up a board game and bring the brood together for a few hours of fun family time that they – and you! – will always cherish.
And remember: the loser has to put away the game. Rules are rules!