Fun Vacation Activities
Ready to start having fun? Browse through these ideas to find what's right for your family:
Volunteer. Visit a nursing home and bring a stack of paintings your children made. Bring toys to a homeless shelter or deliver food to a food pantry. Kids will learn to help others and to not think only of themselves.
Set up a craft basket. Fill it with glue, markers, glitter, paper towel rolls, Styrofoam shapes from holiday gifts, leftover wrapping paper, ribbon, odd buttons, felt, and whatever else you have around. If it's all in one convenient place, perhaps your kids will even pull it out in a creative moment without bothering you!
Keep books handy. "I always tell parents that no minivan should be without a basket of books that children can use to keep themselves occupied during a day of errands or on the way to grandma's house," says Bavaria. Discuss your favorite childhood books and see if you can get a copy to read to your children, whatever their ages.
Don't forget to just hang out together. "Kids are the masters of hanging out. They could teach us all something," says Bavaria.
Start a scrapbook. Give your kids disposable cameras so they can snap away during holiday celebrations. During vacation time, put the photos in a scrapbook with pictures of celebrations past and let visiting relatives add their own comments, stories and drawings to create a cherished family memory book.
Visit a ballet, karate, fencing, or modern dance studio that offers classes. Call ahead because some may be closed over the holidays, while others may have special events or performances geared to the holidays. Your child may be inspired to try a class or just enjoy watching the class as free performance art.
Take a factory tour. Get out the Yellow Pages and see if any factories in your town or nearby offer behind-the-scenes tours. You can see what really goes into making products from staplers to jelly beans. Some factories have set tour times, but others may be willing to make special arrangements. You'll learn something and perhaps even get a sample of the finished product.
Build a gingerbread house. This is a great way to teach young architects-in-training the details of constructing a house that won't fall apart. Buy a box of graham crackers, whip up a batch of heavy-duty frosting for the "glue," and decorate your creation with gumdrops, licorice and peppermint candies.