If you have kids you know that vacationing as a family is an around-the-clock work; for the parents that is. Kiddie-adrenaline is high, their boundless energy keeps flowing and you, the parent, are kept busy caring for them.
The most enduring task of it all is keeping them occupied while trying to squeeze in some fun for yourself. Not a simple objective to accomplish. Your offspring tend to get bored easily and so you need to stay fully alert and constantly coming up with new – and exciting! – activities.
The most obvious tip is to stay in a vacation apartment rather than in a hotel room. Need we even explain? OK then – staying in close quarters with nothing but beds and a mini-fridge is a sure recipe for mini-catastrophes. Shortage of legroom – an actual room where legs can run – is especially unadvisable with kids; running around is a must-have option for kids. And what about going to bed, after a long and strenuous day, right next to your kids, not even getting to enjoy some coveted alone time with the spouse?
Here are 5 ideas for dynamically entertaining your kids so when bedtime comes, they will happily sink into dreamland, allowing the two of you to saunter over to the living room for some quality R&R.
We’re not talking about computer games or even board games. When we say games we mean active play; remember – you want them moving around as much as possible. Legs pumping, hands flying around, little hearts racing.
So think back to your analog childhood and bring back some action-based play. Hide and seek is an all-time classic. It has the potential for silly moments and if you hide really well, you gain a few minutes to check the news on your phone.
Musical chairs is another vigorous activity to do with your kids. True, a family of four will have to deal with very short cycles. This is where you need to get creative and bend the rules of the game a bit – how about doing it on one leg? Or with your eyes closed? Adding a stuffed animal as a player?
If you really are prepared to go the extra mile, you can arrange for a mini-scavenger hunt around the apartment. It will require some planning in advance, but it might just be worth the effort.
Cook a Meal Together
Yes, of course, you can do this back home, and hopefully, you do, but when on vacation you can make a whole adventure out of it. Start in the market, choose some local products together that your kids aren’t familiar with and go experiment in the kitchen.
Kids aren’t known for being big on food exploration, but maybe the overall vacation atmosphere will give them extra ‘food courage’ and arouse their curiosity. Even if not, preparing the food may satisfy their energy output needs and who knows – they might even taste some of their own creations in the end.
Create a Vlog Diary
Your kids probably have their own phone, right? So put them to the task of documenting the trip. Pose it as a challenge, maybe a competition even – whoever captures the most memorable moments gets… to pick where you’re eating your next meal? Whatever motivates your child – you know best.
Make it a daily occurrence; each day a different child is in charge of filming. If you want to make it more official, buy a little beret, explain to them what a ‘director’ is and that only the day’s director is entitled to wear the beret. Who knows – maybe you’re raising the next Fellini.
Plan Ahead for the Next Day
It is a good idea to get the kids involved, allowing them to have a say in what you’ll do as a family, rather than mindlessly following you around.
If they can already read, send them to Google to get ideas. If they’re too young, give them options and let them choose. You’re not the only one that likes to be in control; kids are big on making decisions, especially since they have little freedom over their regular schedule. A vacation is a great opportunity to hand over some control.
The Last Resort – Screens
If all other ideas fail to satisfy, there’s always The Screen. Alas, it is the 21st-century pacifier; the magic wand that finally brings peace to the land. Releasing the tablet isn’t what you wanted – they are glued to it day in and day out – but how else would the two of you enjoy that bottle of wine you bought earlier?
Are you Ready to start planning your next family getaway? Start with booking your stylish vacation apartment.