Garanimals Blog

Archive for the ‘school vacation’ tag

March 25th, 2013 at 9:38 am

Spring Break Activities

Staying home for Spring Break? Spring Break is a great time for a family to recharge for that last couple months before summer. Need some ideas of what to do?

Have a Picnic
If it is a nice spring day where you live, pack a picnic lunch and take a trip to the park. What is more fun than some picnic foods and play time. If it is still closer to winter weather spread a blanket on the living room floor and have an inside picnic. Bring out a board game to play afterwards.

Go on a Field Trip
Visit a local Children’s Museum or nature center, check out a sporting event or visit a indoor play area. The possibilities are endless for fun places to visit nearby.

Plant a Garden
Fill your planters with plants or dig a garden in the backyard. If the weather isn’t so great yet, start some seedlings in your windowsill. Not only is this a great educational experience for all ages but provides lessons in nurturing. This makes great time for you and your child all summer long while you take care of the plants.

Get some Exercise
Ride your bikes, go for a walk or even find some indoor exercise you can do. My boys love to bring our bouncy house out of the basement and put it in the living room for some “cold-weather” exercise. Check out a roller rink or bowling alley for some inside fun.

Make Some Crafts
Get out the paints, markers and other craft supplies! Check out the Garanimals Pinterest board for more ideas!

I find that Spring Break is so much more relaxed than Winter Break because you don’t have all the holiday Chaos that you find at the end of the year. Have fun and create some great memories!

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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January 18th, 2013 at 8:30 am

Planning a Family Vacation

I don’t know about you, but I desperately need a family vacation right about now! Between the craziness of raising kids, the holidays, and the dead of winter in Wisconsin I could go for something warm and relaxing. The task can seem overwhelming though. All the planning, packing, and decision-making sometimes makes a family vacation seem not as much fun as you anticipate. I guarantee it will be fun once you go through with a little organization up front.

First, you want to decide where you are going. Is this a Staycation, or do you want to go on a big trip? This also depends upon budget and how long of a vacation you are taking. If it is just a weekend, you may want to stay closer to home; but for a week, you can definitely travel cross-country. Part of this is deciding the travel arrangements –car, train, airplane, boat? During this time of year, we usually take an extended weekend to a waterpark; a great way to getaway from home.

The next big part of planning the trip is deciding the details. Where will you stay or eat? What exciting activities are in store? I like to narrow these down. I’ve tried to figure it out when we got there, but with kids that doesn’t always work so well. When they are hungry, there isn’t a lot of time to wait; in my family that leads to meltdowns! So, what I do is create a list of options for restaurants with a few extras in case one isn’t what we expected. In this digital age, it is so easy to really delve into what restaurants and activities will work for your family. I usually call myself the “Cruise Director” and have a list of possible activities for each day. This takes the stress off me and lessens decisions that need to be made during the vacation. That means more relaxing for Mom!

Now everything should be pretty much planned! You would think we are onto the fun part, but now comes the packing! Depending upon how big your family is, this could be a hefty task. Gone are the carefree days of throwing a couple of things in a bag and having a weekend away. Now I need to tote teddy bears, sound machines and extra clothes in case of accidents. This step takes as much preparation as the others. I like to start a list a week before I am going to start packing. I write down everything I think I may need. I go over this list every day because I can guarantee as the week goes on I will add a few things (sometimes really important ones) and take a few things away. As that week passes I also think about bags that are needed and have time for shopping for last minute items.

Once the list is done I start to gather. My bed usually becomes suitcase central. Luckily, my husband goes on a lot of business trips so I let him pack himself, but always remember to ask him if he has certain items (like swim trunks) that he would typically forget! I like to involve the boys as much as I can, having them retrieve things or pick out their favorite clothes to wear.  Packing can be a big task, but I feel like it starts to get you excited to go.

Then you are set! Well, as long as you thought about your pets, if you need anyone to watch the house or collect the mail too! These are important details that can be forgotten!  Trust me! Last fall, when we went for a weekend I almost forgot to make arrangements for the dog, which led to a 2 hour vet appointment to update shots. Don’t ask!

Once you leave your house, make it fun! Vacation starts on that first step out the door!

Are you going on a fun family vacation anywhere?

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.



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