Back in March when the quarantine began, parents left no stone unturned to keep their children busy and engaged. Jigsaw puzzles and art and craft workshops were organized while in-home scavenger hunts and pillow forts were built on the fly. When that no longer worked, out of sheer desperation, complete access to Netflix and Fortnite seemed like the only way to keep it all together.
But now nine months later, when even Netflix and Among Us, is not beginning to get a peep out of our children, you just might be dreading the upcoming winter vacations given that a family trip is still off the table.
Or is it?
- Explore new countries virtually, and recreate the travel experience in-home
Given how most aspects of our interaction with the outside world have gone virtual, why not opt for a two-day long virtual trip to a country of your child’s choice. Make them in-charge of the ‘trip’ planning. They can choose a city in any part of this world, research it, and then you and your children replicate certain elements of it at home. For example, it could take the form of recreating certain popular dishes of that city’s or country’s cuisine. You could explore the recipes online, prepare it together, and then set up the kitchen table like they would at the restaurant.
Children could even immerse themselves in the language of that place through Gus on the Go and Memrise, apps that teach foreign languages a fun, engaging manner.
- Designate some vacation days as ‘trip-days’ and recreate certain aspects of a hotel experience at home
In a year where days blended into each other – we went from Monday, Friday, Sunday to Blursday – and seasons swept past us without us really registering the passage of time (wasn’t it winter just yesterday?), even the act of breaking patterns would be reinvigorating. And that’s exactly what a vacation is supposed to be all about.
Nothing brings greater joy to a child than being able to order room service. On the designated ‘trip days’, a tray of their favourite food items could be brought into their bedrooms. Let them enjoy their food in front of the TV whilst in their pjs or robes. Provided they help clean afterwards, of course.
Have them book spa appointments in your bathroom or kitchen. You and your child could look up recipes of scrubs and face packs, and create them together. Then later, all of you together, put up your feet and relax and unplug to a homemade coconut – lavender scrub and some groovy music.