For a myriad of reasons, not the least of which is our three (yes, three) 3-year-olds, flying was not part of our Spring Break plans. So with no warmer weather in our future I decided to embrace the staycation. That’s right, I “chose” to spend nine unscheduled days at home with my four boys.
*By staycation, I am not implying that we were on lockdown. Daytrips (more precisely ½ day trips because thank goodness they still nap) will be a big part of our week. Also, please remember that similar to the ginormous difference between a “vacation” and a “family vacation,” a staycation with children does not include any of the decluttering or book reading potential that a normal staycation holds.
Now that your expectations are set appropriately low, let’s talk about how I planned our staycation.
When to Plan: It’s best to get your act together at least a week in advance. This way you can gather supplies, choose activities, and coordinate with other parents before it’s Thursday of Spring Break and you’re watching the Lego Movie for the twelfth time, in a row. If it’s already Monday morning, don’t fret. You’ll just need to eek out a little planning time and do some evening shopping (if you see me there let’s both pretend we’re picking up sale items for Easter Baskets).
How to Plan: I started by emulating people who are smarter than me. Preschool teachers divide the day into small increments of time, sometimes as short as 15 minutes. Since our day together is much longer, I went for half-hour slots. I imagine with older kids and their presumably longer attention spans you might be able to plan for an hour at a time.
Where to Look: Pinterest! Bad rap aside, in just a few clicks Pinterest brings you thousands of kid-friendly activities pinned by people who are totally in touch with their inner child. I need these folks because I am in touch with my inner teenager, but my boys aren’t into Point Break and making mixed tapes (yet).
What to Plan: Start with with a theme, I selected the (totally original) theme of “spring” for our Spring Break staycation. From there, I pinned the hell out of spring related activities. Once I had more than we could possibly do in a week, I broke them into arbitrary categories:
- Learning (pretty scientific huh?).
Next, I went back to my ½ hour time slots and filled in any time not already blocked by necessities (e.g. meals and hundreds of trips to the bathroom, we’re potty training). I tried to mix up the categories so we weren’t crafting all day or playing board games for hours on end.
There you have it, sprinkle in a trip to the library, a couple of playdates and maybe some longer outings to the zoo or children’s museum and you have a happy little staycation (hah!). Did I mention wine should be on your list of supplies for the week? I told you we might see each other at the store late at night!
Good luck moms and dads! Remember summer is only a couple of months away.