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Spring break has begun, but for some of us the weather does not seem to cooperate with the season. Harsh winter storms and unpredictable weather makes travel a hassle, but we can still make our spring break enjoyable by bringing it to our homes. Staycations are a growing trend, where families remain in homes or within the local area but do activities that make it feel like they are hundreds of miles away. Try these wonderful home-tested, kid-approved staycation suggestions.
Camp out in your backyard
Backyard camping is a great staycation activity because we can do this in any season. Do every camping activity just behind your house from grilling hotdogs and s’mores, to playing board games, to snoozing in sleeping bags. No one is allowed to go back in the house during camping, except when using the bathroom. Campers are also prohibited from using their smartphones, laptops, tablets, and handheld games.
While the backyard is technically not “the great outdoors,” camping right within our property gently introduces the children about the beauty of nature. We can even plan for actual outdoor camping when the weather becomes permissible.
Give your kid his or her own tent so the young one can learn to become independent at a young age. We recommend the Super Duper 4 Kids Tent, which comes with water-proof flooring and a mesh top for easy star gazing. Listed at $34.99.
Board game tournaments
If your family is not the outdoorsy type, you can still have fun within the confines of your home. Pull out your board games and make it tournament style. Whoever wins each round of board game gets a gold star. The player with the most gold stars at the end of the day gets a special reward such as his or her choice of pizza that everyone in the family can share.
Check out our reviews of family-friend board games.
Turn your home into African safari
Role-playing is a good way of teaching our kids about creative thinking. In this case, turn your home and backyard like the beautiful fields of Africa. Decorate your home with twisted strips of brown paper as vines, have everyone dress up as safari animals, explorers, or mighty Masai warriors.
For dinner, dine on grilled ribs and a salad of wildly-grown vegetables. Cap the evening with a viewing of The Lion King. This Blu-ray/ DVD combo is listed at $39.99.
Organize a scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts bring out lots of fun memories and our kids’ competitive edge. Start small by creating a hunt all over the backyard. You can purchase ready-made scavenger hunt kits like the Melissa and Doug Puppy Pursuit Games (listed at $29.99) or create your own, using your computer to print out clues, construction paper and marker to create maps, and hide special prizes such as your kids’ favorite dolls. You can also make it a little more educational by using history or math as references to your clues.
Spring is a great time to train the kids of taking care of nature. Whether you have a garden plot or have plant pots, take your kids along as you plant seeds or seedlings, water them, and harvest the fruits in the summer or fall. Start with smaller plants like herbs, cherry tomatoes, and peppers.
When shopping for seeds, you can bring your kids along and let them choose what plants they like to take care of. Each child should be responsible for his or her own plants. Get them started with this complete gardening tool set with tote bag by Toysmith, listed at $49.99.