Need an indoor activity? Send those kids on vacation! There’s no reason you have to actually leave the house to go on an adventure. Destination? Somewhere hot and sunny!
Dress for the Weather
First up, have them get into the summer spirit by changing into some warm weather clothes—don’t forget the sunglasses and hats, too. Rub a small dab of suntan lotion on their faces (the smell will bring them right back to those lazy days at the beach).
Pack your Bags!
Next, drag out a couple of small suitcases and tell them to go “pack” for their vacation. (BTW, we recommend a small suitcase for packing so it’s less stuff to put away later!). Filling luggage with their travel necessities should take about 20 minutes—quick, go make yourself some lunch.
Time to set up the airplane. Line up a couple of chairs and don’t forget to stow your bags underneath the seat! Have your kids take turns being the flight attendant and serving snacks and drinks to each other (this should take up another 10 minutes—quick, check your email). While your mini-jet-setters are at cruising altitude, get started on running a warm bath (hello, hotel pool).
Time to Check In!
Finally, you’ve arrived at your destination (Hawaii? Bahamas? Tahiti?). Feel that tropical breeze, that warm sun, those umbrella drinks! Now it’s your job to be the concierge and escort your weary travelers to their accommodations (their bedroom) and suggest that they change into their bathing suits for a swim in the ocean-side pool. Throw anything remotely tropical into the tub (plastic drinking cups, toy fish, snorkel gear) and tell them to hop in (this should net you another 20-30 minutes—quick, give yourself a mini-pedicure).
Travel makes me hungry!
Lastly, if your kids are still going along with this fantasy vacation, set up a “picnic on the beach”. Spread some towels on the floor and offer up some beach-y snacks (I have no idea what that would be, but you’re getting good at this pretend thing, you’ll come up with something) and tropical drinks. Quick parent tip: I am always stocked with a big bag of those drink umbrellas; you wouldn’t believe how useful they are for all kinds of play. Want to get crazy? Get on the internet and play an ocean wave sound effects loop from your computer. (I’m not sure if the kids give a hoot about this, but I’m feeling really relaxed now….).
All in all, you’ve carved out some parent-time, the kids had a blast and you didn’t spend a dime. Creativity. It’s the oldest (and cheapest) trick in the book. Bon voyage!