So, you booked time off work and the kids have no school but for some unfortunate reason you are all now stuck at home. It could be that you don’t have the budget right now to travel out of town, or some unforeseen circumstances cancelled your holiday plans or one of your kids is too sick to travel. Whatever the case is, that doesn’t mean you still can’t have a great family staycation! Check out these 15 ideas tried and tested by my family!
1- Game night
Organising a game night is a great idea if you are stuck at home. It is a lifesaver if there is a power cut. You can go for traditional board games like Monopoly or Scrabble, card games like Uno or even team games such as Pictionary. Nowadays there are guessing games apps too like Heads Up that you can play on your phones.
2- Build something together
Gather around the dining room table and work on that new puzzle together. When you are done take a photo with it or better yet frame it! Personally my daughter enjoys Lego sets and I have a newfound love for them too. I like following the instructions in the little booklet. She prefers to look at the big picture and use her imagination! Either way it is so much fun!
3- Learn a language
There are lots of free and affordable apps that you can download such as Babbel or Duolingo that help you learn a new language at your own pace. Challenge your family members to a spelling bee in foreign languages or a trivia in geography. Who knows maybe your new vocabulary and fun facts would come in handy next time you travel with your family?
4- Cooking and baking
Dust off your recipe books or download a few apps and get cooking! This activity is particularly helpful if you are trying to cut down on takeout and be more mindful with your diet. It is also a great way to teach your kids a little more about nutrition and health, plus how to follow instructions, be safe in the kitchen and measure out ingredients.
5- Star gazing
My daughter is currently obsessed with this app called Star Chart. She downloaded it when we were on holiday in Nuweiba. You lift your device towards the sky, and the app tells you what planets and stars you are looking at. Maybe you can have some black paper and chalk ready and try to recreate the constellations.
OK I understand this might sound like a boring chore. But believe me it can also be a beautiful bonding exercise for the whole family. For example, as you sort through your stuff, you can use this as a teaching moment with your kids. You can talk to them about families who are less fortunate and identify some things you can donate to charity. You can also talk to them about sustainability and the environment by showing them how to reuse or recycle your old belongings.
7- Movie night
Switch off the lights, bring out the blankets and find a movie the whole family can enjoy. Who needs the cinema when you have on demand channels like Netflix and a comfortable sofa? You can have a light dinner together or just go for the typical popcorn and drink duo. If the movie is extra-long, you can even splurge on some ice cream.
8- Yoga and exercise
My daughter and I attend a mother and child beginner yoga class and we really look forward to it every week. We bought a yoga mat at home and sometimes do a few stretches together. This YouTube channel called Cosmic Kids Yoga is great for young kids and you can also download other exercise apps and get active.
9- Dance party
Push the furniture to one side, find a cool song list, get your kid’s light projector out and dance till you drop! Obviously, dancing is a great workout for the whole family and your kids can show you the latest moves. But it can also be a cultural experience. You can watch videos of folk dances from around the world and try to copy them together.
10- Spa day
Remember those beauty sets you got last Christmas? Well time to get them out and indulge! Draw a bubble bath for the kids. Paint each other’s nails. Get temporary henna tattoos. Get face masks or even hair treatments. There is no reason why a family staycation can’t be a luxurious one!
11- Arts and crafts
Get out your scissors, glue and paper and start getting crafty! Find objects around the house that you can use for your art projects like pipe cleaners, toilet roll tubes, buttons or ribbons. Depending on your children’s ages and special interests, you can spend hours trying to recreate those imaginative ideas from Pinterest!
12- Read a book together
I recently introduced my daughter to books by Roald Dahl starting with Fantastic Mr Fox. She finds his descriptive writing hilarious especially when we take turns reading and do creative voices. If your kids are older, you can dim the lights, sit in a circle in your living room and tell scary stories.
13- Fashion show
Another fun idea for everyone and very easy to set up during a family staycation! The grownups can dress up in their kids’ clothes and vice versa. Or you can get out those Halloween costumes, crazy wigs and ugly hats and have a catwalk in the corridor. Make sure someone is taking photos and videos so you can document these events and put together a slideshow.
14- Dog bath
Who said that only humans need pampering? Your doggo also deserves a treat every now and then! Not only is this a great way for your kids to spend quality time with your pet, it also teaches them some responsibility. You can take turns shampooing, rinsing, towel drying and brushing the dog, and don’t forget to ask them to help you clean up later.
15- Virtual museums
Google Arts and Culture partnered with over 500 museums and art galleries so you can enjoy virtual tours and online exhibits from the comfort of your sofa during your family staycation. There are thousands of videos on the Internet about different cultures, attractions and sights. Consider this a warm up until you manage to visit the real thing!
Need more inspiration?
- Check out this post by The Bristol Brood with fun activities for kids.
- Another fellow blogger Bon Voyage with Kids has compiled these 15 travel and multicultural education activities.
- If you are looking for indoor activities for babies, toddlers and kids check this post out listing 25 ideas from Parenthood4ever.
If you have any other bright ideas that you would like me to add to this post, please leave a comment below. Likewise, if you try any of the above ideas do let me know how it went. And remember spending quality time with your family is one way of loving them! Enjoy these precious moments and make loads of memories!