UNLIKE OTHER TO-DO LISTS, THIS ONE WILL BE FUN TO GET THROUGH.
- Grow a flower. Guess the color it will turn out to be. Measure its progress.
- Watch fireworks. Fire? In the sky? That makes beautiful shapes in pretty colors?! Before you’re old enough to understand the
science of the thing, a fireworks display can seem like a miracle.
- Roll down a grassy hill. This is such a simple, silly thing, but we all remember doing it. And that’s the whole point.
- Catch a firefly, then let it go. This one has an extra, “‘now or never” imperative. Reports show that fireflies are declining in numbers just about everywhere. So catch some while you can.
- See a live show. There’s nothing like a stage show, with humans performing right there in front of you. Pricey tickets not needed.
- Go camping. It sets children up for a lifelong love of nature.
- Stargaze. Talk about how 1t takes thousands of years for the light of the stars to reach us. Your kids probably won’t grasp it all, but that’s okay. What they’ll remember is that they got to stay up way past their bedtime and go outside in their PJs.
- Do a character meet-and-greet. They will never be excited about people wearing silly costumes as they are right now. And the resulting photos? Priceless.
- Bake from scratch. Sugar cookies, carrot cake, brownies…it all works. The process is what matters. Let them see that not all food comes easy to us, and a lot of times it tastes better if it doesn’t.
- Visit an amusement park. Walking around all day, eating fried concoctions laughing your head off on automated rides, and then being carried, half-asleep, out of the par in your parent’s arms should be a hallmark of every childhood.
FAMILY TRAVEL HAS CHANGED A LOT SINCE YOU WERE A KID. TRAVELING WITH KIDS-YES EVEN BABIES-HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER THAN IT IS TODAY. JOIN THE RANKS OF FAMILIES HIDING THE ROAD MORE OFTEN BY FOLLOWING THIS NEW, GAME-CHANGING ADVICE.
RULE 1: yes, you can
No, really, you can take small humans 011 a trip without it being equal parts stress and fun.
Traveling with young kids is becoming the norm, not the exception. It’s harder to raise eyebrows on planes, in restaurants, and at the hotel pool. Why? Because in recent years, the travel industry has been catering to young families like never before, and so you’d have to try really hard to wind up in a place where yours were the only kiddos in sight. Rather than treating children as an “add-on,” resorts today are all about the kids. Airlines offer families with young children priority boarding and stroller checking; rental car companies issue car seats.
RULE 2: take advantage of technology
Most of us remember dreading those long rides to get to our family’s vacation destination. But back then, options to make the hours pass were limited to counting license plates and putting gum in your sister’s hair. No more. Tech that keeps kids entertained on the road abounds such as the next-generation scavenger hunt: geocaching. This trending hoppy can be tried out at a rest stop along your driving route. Use your phone and a geocache app to find hidden treasures nearby. You can geocache virtually anywhere these days. Young children love to follow the app to find a surprise. The rule is that if you take something, you leave something. So make sure to bring along a few trinkets for the next family to find.
Rule 3: The more, the merrier
We don’t mean vacationing with your in-laws (though you could; see Rule 4). A growing trend is vacationing with your friends and their kids. With families and their kids. With families spread out over larger distances than in previous generations, friends with kids the same age have taken over as a support system. More young parents are deciding to travel as a group. It’s more fun for the kids, who have built-in playmates they already know, and for you as well, especially if you have a baby or toddler. Think about it: You and your bambino will have company at the kiddie pool for once, while your spouse takes the older kids to the diving board.
Rule 4: rethink what it means to “go home”
Visiting grandparents is a top reason for taking a family trip, and now it no longer means piling into your old bedroom with your own kids and feeling obliged to eat your favorite childhood pancakes – Every. Single. Morning. If you believe that home is the people you love, not necessarily a physical place, then this is the year to suggest going somewhere awesome as the annual family visit. Grandparents who don’t see their grandchildren that often may be only too happy to share a special experience with them. Private homes and resort rental services, such as Airbnb HomeAway and Vacatia, now make it possible to find comfy accommodation for a large group that, well, feel like a home.
Rule 5: Be spontaneous
Online booking has changed the travel game. Vacations no longer have to be planned months out. Now it’s simple to jump on a great hotel deal or a rock-bottom fare, gram the kids and go. The ease of comparing prices instantaneously can make it possible for those with a tight budget to take a trip that they thought was out of their reach. It also make much easier to take advantage of low-season travel dates. Many schools are closed on random days that apply only in that district, such as teacher development days. If you have school-age kids, you don’t need to be restricted to the pricey (and crowded) summer and spring break time frames. Unexpected day off from school a week from Friday? Grab your phone and make it an impromptu long weekend.
Rule 6 Mix Business with Pleasure
Work-family balance is a priority for most working parents. If you travel frequently for business, it can sometimes be hard not to feel guilty, or at least a little sad, about spending precious time away from your family. But like so much else in 2017, it’s time to rethink the business trip. It doesn’t have to be an either-or proposition. Why not bring your partner and kids along? If you all fit in one room, there’s no additional cost to your employer. While you’re out during the day, they can enjoy the local
attractions. No, it’s not a dream family vacation, but it’s a great way to grab quality time with your kids in a way that fits your life now.
When pondering the different options for your child it’s important to understand your options. There are a lot of options available and it’s good to understand the different between them. This article highlights Registered Family Child Care Homes, Licensed Family Child Care Homes, Adult-to-Child Ratios for Family Child Care Homes and Gold Seal and Accreditation.