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Tips for the Staycation You Didn’t Know Your Family Needed

We have all longed for time off work, extended vacations with our loved ones, an opportunity to clean the house; the list goes on. But now that we are facing the reality of what we wished for, all we want to do is LEAVE THE HOUSE. Fear not, as Behavior By Design is here to provide tips on how to make the most out of the mandated staycation.

While it is difficult to pretend that this extensive amount of time home is something we WANT, lets imagine the ways that could turn this staycation into one of the best experiences you have ever had with your family. Where do we start? In short, by remembering only 3 points; building routines, trying new things, and staying on track.

Building a routine within each day is important for everyone, but especially your little-ones. Doing so is not about making a strict time schedule that you cannot deviate from, adjust, or take a break from. Routines CAN have flexibility, CAN include free time, and CAN be enjoyable. Can you imagine living minute to minute without really knowing what will come next? Children thrive in routines because they know what to expect for the day, know what’s coming next, and know that the home-work they are working on will not last forever. But how to we get a child to accept a routine? How do we enjoy this time-off if we have a whole schedule to abide by? Well, just keep reading.

Trying new things while on your staycation will give you and your child a chance to bond as you experiment and navigate new experiences TOGETHER. Whether you are trying a new recipe, playing a new game, or making a new craft; you and your child are working closely to make something happen. Trying new things can also help get your child to be accepting of the not-so-fun parts of the schedule. To most children, trying new things is exciting and gives them a sense of adventure.

Want to finally have some relaxation time? Great idea, ME TOO! Doing so is as simple as putting relaxing activities into your routine. Reading books, alone time, tv time, nap time, and family movie night are all relaxing activities that can be imbedded into your staycation routine, and often too. Tell me your child will not be smiling ear-to-ear when you go over the day’s schedule that includes family movie time, going for a walk, or reading time that includes a hot chocolate!

Routines do take time and planning and innovative thinking, but they WILL save you time in the long run because they allow you to stay on track with the day-to-day actions you do need to complete. The bills, certain work tasks, household chores (the list goes on) will not wait for your staycation to be over and neither should you. This time-off CAN and SHOULD be used as an opportunity to catch-up on those things we write on the bottom of our “to-do” list, but never seem to get to. Try adding a few of these into your newly made routine each morning so that you can use this time-off to get ahead and continue to host a certain feeling of accomplishment that we all crave.

Better yet, mix being productive and your desire to spend time with your child by using this opportunity to show your child how to fix a household item, how to wash the car, how to do laundry, or how to organize bills. What you choose to teach your children should be age-appropriate and you should always try your best to make the experience a positive one. Consider allowing your child to choose from a list of activities they want to learn, encourage them to ask questions, and make them feel good about learning by making positive comments throughout the experience (“your so smart!”, “how did you know that button was next!?”, “you must have learned this before!”).

Listen, all the tips above can look overwhelming, and I get that. But the reality is that with just 15 minutes, a pencil and paper, and a creative mindset, you can plan bonding opportunities, learning opportunities, and relaxation all in the same day. You can even use the links and picture schedule below to get some ideas on where to start.

  1. https://www.wisebread.com/50-fun-things-to-do-when-youre-stuck-inside-during-winter
  2. https://mommypoppins.com/ny-kids/50-indoor-activities-for-a-rainy-day
  3. https://www.realsimple.com/health/mind-mood/fun-things-to-do-rainy-day
  4. https://www.mykidstime.com/things-to-do/50-fun-rainy-day-activities-for-kids/
  5. https://handsonaswegrow.com/indoor-activities-toddlers/
  6. https://www.care.com/c/stories/4073/101-fun-things-to-do-with-toddlers/
  7. https://teaching2and3yearolds.com/20-fun-and-easy-toddler-activities-for-home/
  8. https://busytoddler.com/2016/11/40-super-easy-toddler-activities/
  9. https://teachingmama.org/20-more-ways-to-keep-toddlers-busy/
  10. https://www.mykidstime.com/things-to-do/50-fun-things-to-do-with-your-toddler/
  11. https://thestay-at-home-momsurvivalguide.com/toddler-activities/
  12. https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/crafts-for-preschoolers-and-toddlers-1254268
  13. https://www.howweelearn.com/50-crafts-2-year-olds/
  14. https://whatmomslove.com/kids/active-indoor-games-activities-for-kids-to-burn-energy/
  15. https://www.familyfuntwincities.com/indoor-games-for-kids/
  16. https://kidactivities.net/40-scavenger-hunt-riddles-for-kids/
  17. https://www.thespruce.com/indoor-treasure-hunt-for-children-1695332
  18. https://www.mother.ly/child/20-simple-ways-to-entertain-your-toddler
  19. https://www.theleangreenbean.com/indoor-activities-for-toddlers/
  20. https://www.icanteachmychild.com/31-days-of-indoor-fun-for-toddlers/
  21. https://www.parents.com/baby/development/growth/11-fun-activities-for-babies-6-to-12-months/
  22. https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/development-boosting-6-month-old-baby-activities/
  23. https://www.momjunction.com/articles/learning-activities-for-your-6-month-old-baby_0092271/#gref
  24. https://www.bookbub.com/blog/free-short-stories-online
  25. https://www.totschooling.net/p/toddler-printables.html
  26. https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html