Your Guide to Stay-at-Home Getaways
Make a List
By Scott Reeves, of Minyanville.com
If high gas prices will keep you and your kids home this season, a bit of imagination and a dash of goofiness can turn the “staycation” into a memorable event.
Think back to your own childhood: it was a kick when your parents acted goofy, especially if they were buttoned-down types. A stay-at-home vacation is a good time to unleash your inner goofball.
If your kids are young, explain the financial situation to them in basic terms. Then announce that you’re going to try something new: you’ll see your hometown as tourists. Tell your kids that they will be both visitors and tour guides.
Ask your children for ideas. Occasional meals at a four-star fast food restaurant? Great! Regular walks to the park? Fantastic! Bicycle rides? Nothing better! Swimming, gymnastics, baseball – pure heaven! And, don’t forget to set aside some time to make gifts for the grandparents.
Use the trip to Greaseburger Heaven to discuss nutrition. Don’t make it a sermon, but reinforce your child’s good eating habits. Start by telling your kids that a hamburger now and then is okay, but a steady diet of fast food is unhealthy – and tell them why. Make it clear that carbonated drinks are just sugar water. (Warning: your son is likely to use this information to launch a belching contest.)
Visit the library and borrow some books on flowers, birds and insects to prepare for your trip to the park. You can teach your kids all about everything and have a great time doing it. As adults, we sometimes overlook a basic point: the world is new for children. The more you explain, the more kids will be engaged.
Show your children maps. This will teach geography, introduce the concept of scale and develop a sense of direction. Ask a young child to draw a map of the park showing playground equipment, flowers, a stand of trees, the water fountain, paths – all that good stuff.
Then expand the scope of the next map to include points of interest in your town. Suggestion: save the maps and tuck them in your photo album because the project will be a delight to you when the kids leave for college.
- Teach your kids about money on MinyanLand.com
- Financial advice from Kaboose.com
- More on managing your money at Minyanville.com