Its the beginning of Summer! All this sunshine has me thinking about our vacation at the lake last year. Every year we get to go down to our Family Cabin and I love every minute of our vacation. Last year was amazing and this summer we will get to be down there for even longer! Three cheers for summer and extended parental leave.
As my kids are getting older they are become quite the adventurers and they use their imagination constantly. While we were at the lake the kids had a blast and we let them enjoy it to the fullest. Here are their tips to insure your kids have the best time ever.
There is so many new things to explore. If you leave kids to it they will find some excellent ways to entertain themselves.
2. Jump In The Lake
Have a blast splashing, tubing, going on the knee board, swimming or collecting the best rocks ever. Whatever you do just get in there.
3. Make a clubhouse or fort
We have an old tent trailer that we didn’t set up this year. Instead the kids made it into their awesome club house, no adults allowed. They hauled tons of rocks into the fridge. Collected pine cones for the horses (imaginary) and swept the entrance constantly. I have no idea what else they did but they spent tons of time in the club house.
4. Dig in the dirt
Almost every kid that I have ever met loves to dig in the dirt. I don’t really get it but a shovel with a couple of buckets makes for enormous amounts of fun.
5. Bathe half as often as you should
Sometimes a quick jump in the lake before bed is good enough. Other occasions call for extra soap….
6. Be goofy with cousins
Cousins are the best! I have many fond memories of times with my cousins and we do our best to help our kids have the same opportunity.
They played constantly for the whole week. They got out bubbles, puzzles or activities to fill their time with but more often than not they used their imagination for tons of fun.
7. Stay up hours late
Seriously hours…. At the cabin, time is a whole different thing. We are too busy having fun that the kids don’t even start to settle down til 9 pm. Oy. The kids love staying up late but I always look forward to getting back to our routine. Aka early bedtime.
8. Eat too much food
Our entire extended family is filled with amazing cooks which leaves us all stuffing our faces during meal times, snacks and deserts. Tiger especially loved to try and fit all the watermelon in his mouth at once. Often he succeeded. Silly boy.
9. Lay traps for adults
Rocks make the perfect trap, without shoes on its close to the kids leaving Lego’s scattered around. Sticks work good too but are more easily seen.
10. Go boating
We watched skiers, went in the paddle boats, went behind the boat and the kids even helped drive the boat with Grandpa for some small cruises.
11. Read tons of books
Have family to read aloud, great grandparents, grandparents, cousins or anyone that walks in the room. There is almost always time for one more story.
When you wake up in the morning snuggle for a bit longer. When your reading, curl up under a blanket. When your drying off from a super ski ride, snuggle up. Steal some kisses too, if you can. When your kids run, chase them and snuggle them again.
13. Explore Nature
Go on hikes if your close to the mountains or just explore the area your in. Look for different types of wildlife. See the colors all around you. Notice the different patterns on birds and leaves. Observe the bottom of the lake (if its clear) or look at the banks. Count the lily pads as you pass them. Wherever you are just take a minute to really look around. Maybe even touch some new textures.
14. Fall Asleep in unusual places
I don’t think my toddlers set out to accomplish this one but they often reach their fun maximum and collapse in funny spots. Sweets often curled up by my Dad’s feet as he was driving the boat. Its shaded under there and the motor sounds help lull little ones to sleep. I was always surprised that she went willingly. I guess she was just that tired.
15. Work Hard
Include your kids in what you are doing. Growing up we always had to work on a project of some sort before we could play in the lake for the afternoon. It worked out well as the water is chilly in the morning. The cabin is much more established now so our projects are generally smaller but when one comes up every pitches in. Yes, even the toddlers.
Last year we started to build an addition to the retaining wall. Lots of rocks needs to be moved. The kids helped to move rocks that they could lift but they also supervised Great Grandpa as he drove the Kubota to the unloading area. Once they were parked the kids unloaded rocks and threw them where they needed to go. When it was the big boys turn they moved out of the way but they were included. Doesn’t seem like typical vacation fun but they loved helping and proving how big they were.
Vacations aren’t always about having fun but doing things together.