Staycation with Children

Some tips to involve your children in the planning and executing of fun activities that will be as scrapbook- and story-worthy as a trip somewhere.

ENLIST THEIR HELP IN PLANNING Ask your kids what they want to do. Encourage them to come up with different wish lists than a normal Saturday. Let each child pick an activity or give them a certain budget to spend. Then, let them help you plan. With older kids, give them more responsibilities and more opportunities to explore what your town has to offer.

HAVE A MOVIE NIGHT — OR A MOVIE DAY This is good to have as a backup in case of bad weather, but it doesn’t have to be a backup. Set aside time to watch movies or binge-watch a TV show. Have movie snacks like candy and popcorn, stay in your pajamas, drag mattresses into the living room so everyone can relax, break out blankets. Make it extra special by doing a sing-along to your favorite musical or letting your kids invite their friends over.

EXPLORE NATURE If your family is up to it, plan a long bike or hike (with length determined by age and fitness level). It’s a great way to explore your community more slowly. Or, hit the local trails and go hiking. Bring snacks, water, bug spray, sunscreen and take younger kids on easy trails and older kids on the more intense nature trails.

HAVE A PLAY DAY Spend all day at the children’s museum or a local amusement or water park. You can also go park-hopping; many of us are familiar with our neighborhood parks but never explore what others in the city have to offer. Look for parks with different types of playgrounds, nature trails, a carousel and more. Or, you can stay home and have a board game marathon.

MAKE SOMETHING Break out the construction paper, popsicle sticks, glue and markers and make crafts with your children. Worried you’re not creative enough? Check out your local craft store for kits to make different projects. You can also hit the kitchen with your kids, making cookies, pizza, bread or some other culinary creation you don’t normally have the time to undertake.