How can you have a sunny day at the beach, while confined to the Chicago suburbs over spring break?? If your kids have a spirit of adventure, an active imagination and a few choice props – anything is possible.
One of my favorite ‘staycation’ family memories happened years ago when our girls were in elementary school. It was spring break and we were excited to have a week without homework and time constraints, mom included. And at our house that meant lots more time for playful adventures.
One day, without realizing what I would inspire, I brought home three inexpensive pink and white striped tote bags, one for each daughter. Inside each bag was a pair of summer flip-flops. As I gave the girls their tote bags, I could see big sister Laurie’s wheels start turning. She quickly swept her younger sisters into her imagination and upstairs to change. Soon they reappeared holding beach towels, wearing swimsuits, sunglasses and their new flip-flops. The dining room chairs were quickly moved away from the table, the towels spread out underneath and a sunny afternoon beach adventure ensued.
How can you encourage creative at home adventures?
Electronic Free Zone – There are times kids need to unplug and turn things off. Electronic gadgets are so prevalent you may think your kids aren’t going to be interested in this kind of creative play. But kids are kids and once faced with the opportunity – they will jump right in.
It’s all about the props – The best kind of play can happen with the least likely ‘toys’. Be open to new ideas on what will inspire creative play. Be sure the props are age appropriate and safe for kids. From there, the sky’s the limit.
Set change! – Sometimes you just need to move the furniture. Nothing crazy. But be willing to switch things up to better suit the adventure. Hang a huge tent in the back yard. Build a fort with pillows and sofa cushions. Let the sun shine on the beach under the dining room table.
Join the fun – whether you’re the audience for the living room performance or the caterer for the tea party, be ready to put your busyness aside and enjoy your part in the play. We are never too old to flex our creative muscles and let our kids see the playful side of us.
Tell us what kinds of things inspire your kids?
Photo Credit: Artistica Domestica