Thursday, November 4, 2010

Kid Vacation

My children are home from school today and tomorrow because of a statewide convention for teachers sponsored by the state teacher's union. They are thrilled beyond belief to have their schedule interrupted and to have a four day weekend. I am thrilled for the same reasons! Although I embrace routines and can rarely function without them, I find I am as giddy as they are to have this glorious reprieve. It makes ME feel like a kid again!
For those of you with children home, how do you fill the hours? Juggling the three kids I have here, ages 8, 4, and 1, there doesn't seem to be much downtime, but I want to do something "special" to punctuate this time off. With money being tight I cannot justify going somewhere with a fee, so I am trying to construct a combination of free play and structured activity so the two oldest children do not wind up battling each other like Transformers, Jedi/Sith, or Batman/Joker.
What were the activities you enjoyed as a child when you had a rare day off from school? What have you found works for you when your children are home? Are you crafty? Do you go for a hike? Do you cook/bake? As a child, did you stay in bed and read? Were you organizing a trip to the movies or the mall? Did you beg your mom/dad to have a board game/video game marathon? Were you treated to a mini-vacation away from home?
The time off seems long as it stretches out before me, but as with life with children, the hours fly by and the next thing I'll know it will be Sunday night and a new week will be upon us. I want to slow the pace, make some magic memories, and simply relax. I want them to fill the days with activities they enjoy and try new things to add excitement. Your input is most appreciated! Help me plan an ideal "kid vacation"!


  1. Might I suggest a Harry Potter Marathon? Make them do calisthenics and kata in between shows. It's gonna be a cold rainy day today.

  2. GREAT suggestion! Thank you, Honey! We do have Karate today for the little guy so that breaks the day up a bit, but I adore this idea!

  3. I was the child who was dragged around while mom did whatever errands she had already planned for the week.
    As I got older, I usually got a trip to the library. Then for the rest of the time, I would lay on my bed and read the 2-3 books I discovered (or that were next in whatever series I was reading at the time) with my boom box playing my tapes in the background.
    I also colored a lot, even as a teenager. I love to color, it was and still is relaxing to me. (i have no drawing or painting skills- so coloring was the next best thing).
    I also enjoyed spending the time cleaning, organizing and rearranging my room.
    Also, catching up on pen pal letters (I had 4 in middle school). ;) Ahh, stationary, stickers and pens. Joy.

    As for now... my kids go out and play with the friends they don't often get to see because they are in different grades. When they were younger, we home schooled. I usually caught up on grading papers and making the next weeks schedule, prepared for classes and papers that needed to be sent to the umbrella school. My kids would join all the public school kids in the cul-de-sac and enjoy playing with them.

    See if the local library is having any special "day off from school" events. Story time, craft time, etc... They may even have things going on for each child's age group. Then the boys can tell their tale of what they did in their group. ;)

    There are probably lots of "no money fun" mommy web sites out there too with great ideas. Have you done the "celery in the colored water" experiment? Something fun for the kids to watch, inexpensive and will take the whole weekend. I'm not saying sit and watch what happens, but if there is a lull in the activities, check the progress. My kids have seen it a dozen times and they are still impressed. ;)

    Have you ever made your own edible play-dough? I have a recipe if you would like to try it. I'll be happy to email it to you or post it here for others if you'd like!

    You are a creative mommy. You'll find something fun to do with the kids!

  4. Kool-Aid Playdough

    2 1/2 Cups AP Flour
    2 Cups Water
    2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
    1 Cup Salt
    2 Packages Kool-Aid (your choice "color")

    Mix flour, salt & Kool-Aid in bowl- set aside.

    Boil oil & water.

    Mix with flour mixture. Knead until mixed. CAREFUL-HOT!!

    Store in plastic bag.