Vacationing with Kids: Schedule Downtime

Heather says:

Do you remember being a child, crying and then getting furious with your mother for suggesting you were upset due to being overtired? While I’m not necessarily an old hand at this whole parenting gig, three kids have taught me there is a lot of truth to the idea. We’ve spent time in the pool, on the beach, and visiting tourist destinations like Dixie Stampede.  This led to a serious case of crankypants and the kids weren’t happy either.

Today, the skies opened up and the rain poured down. After a quick dip in the pool, we put on our comfy pants and settled in for some serious, guilt free vegging. We don’t have cable at home, so the older two were thrilled to watch Dora while I goofed off on the computer. 

While playing tourist keep meltdowns at bay by sticking as close to a young child’s schedule as possible. A skipped nap might not be the end of the world one day, but don’t expect a toddler to keep up for days on end. You’ll both be miserable. Obviously most kids won’t tolerate being cooped up for days on end, but one afternoon may be a welcome break.  It’s OK too spend some time doing close to nothing. Children need time to process your adventures, give them a chance to wind down and give yourself a break from playing camp director. As an alternative to television, consider any of the folowing:

  • audio books
  • board games
  • jigsaw puzzles
  • bubbles
  • dollar store toys

Tell me, Home Eccers, what do you do to keep kids from going crazy while giving yourself a break?

Heather is sharing pics on Flickr and her personal blog.
All details on what was provided by can be found here.

1 Comment

  1. CJ on April 3, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    Our basic vacation guidline for downtime-

    Day one–
    Try to plan “nothing”. Just get there, relax, unpack, swim if you want, have an early dinner, pick up some of those broucheres and make plans for the rest of the week.

    Have another “down or do almost nothing day”. Sleep late, have a later breakfast or lunch, swim, (maybe run to the laundramat). Make a simple plan for an easy, but fun afternoon/early eve and get to bed early.

    Week ending- Make simple plans for the day, then return to your place of stay. let the kids swim or play. Then gather up the loose ends and pack as much as possible, leaving out tomorrow’s clothes and gear.

    Those little breaks or down days during a trip really help with sanity and energy levels. Kids especially need down time and even nap time (yes, even the older ones). It makes the rest of the trip so enjoyable.

    Great topic!

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