July 14, 2016:
Take an at-home staycation with your kids this summer!
The first day of summer vacation is always full of excitement. Months stretch ahead, promising warm weather, adventures, and endless possibilities. There are trips to be taken, movies to see, and activities to explore. But as the summer moves toward its midpoint, that excitement can quickly slip into boredom. Rainy days disrupt hours spent splashing in the pool. Sports and extracurricular programs only fill so many hours a week and friends go away on vacation. All of which leaves some parents scrambling for ideas to keep the kids entertained. Luckily, your very own home can be transformed into a veritable amusement park to stave off those dreaded two words: “I’m bored”. Follow these tips to take advantage of everything your home has to offer and turn this into the best summer ever. Visit Naples Reserve, an Ashton Woods community in Naples, FL.Backyard Scavenger Hunt: For the kids who love hunting for eggs at Easter, there’s no reason to wait until spring to uncover hidden treasure. Summer is the perfect time to turn your backyard into a wonderland of clues and secrets. To make the scavenger hunt feel truly special, start with a theme. Channel your child's inner Sherlock Holmes by hiding clues around the house to help them solve a mystery, like who stole the cookie from the cookie jar. Or let them channel their inner pirate with a map that leads them around the backyard to a treasure buried in the sandbox. For a simpler theme, help kids learn about the natural world around them by hunting for specific types of birds, animals and plants. The first one to identify everything on their list wins! Visit The Grove, an Ashton Woods community in Atlanta, GA. Visit Bluffview, an Ashton Woods community in Dallas, TX.Cooking Show Junior: Is your child a mini foodie in the making? Encourage a budding love of cuisine with their own at-home cooking show. Set up your phone’s camera and break out a recipe that’s easy for little hands to master. The video will be a wonderful memory for you to cherish and share with friends or family. Parenting Magazine and Food Network are both great sources for kid-friendly recipes and Buzzfeed’s Tasty Junior is a great inspiration for both recipes and camera angles. Source: Chopped Junior, IMDB.com Visit Savannah at Avian Meadows, an Ashton Woods community in Phoenix, AZ.Living Room Camp-out: Is there anything more worthy of childhood nostalgia than a good blanket fort? When summer storms keep kids cooped up indoors, a blanket fort instantly turns a dreaded afternoon into an adventure. Raid the linen closet and set up a cozy fort in your loft space or media room, then prepare some snacks and pop in your child’s favorite movie. In no time at all, rain and boredom will be the last thing on anyone’s mind. Visit Braemore, an Ashton Woods community in Raleigh, NC. Visit Asturia, an Ashton Woods community in Tampa, FL. Source: Stuart Isett for The New York TimesGet Crafty: Pinterest is full of fun and easy crafts to do with your kids, but the Popsicle-stick picture frames and paper plate masks don’t exactly enhance your home’s décor. Elevate craft time with projects that not only encourage your child’s creativity but personalize your home’s design. Ask them to draw a special self-portrait and gather the results to frame in an elegant gallery wall for the family room. Fill squirt guns with watercolor paints that match your color scheme and let the kids go wild (outside of course). The result will be a lovely abstract painting by your own little Jackson Pollack. Or help them wrap ribbon or yarn around a wooden letter cutout to create a monogram for their bedroom door. Each project provides an afternoon of fun and a beautiful piece of art that helps your house feel like a home. Source: Catch My Party Source: Fireflies and Mudpies Source: Echoes of LaughterNeighborhood Color War: Every camper looks forward to the summer’s big finale: Color War. But if camp isn’t part of your child’s summer plans, they can still experience the excitement of this tradition. Gather neighbors and friends in the backyard—or community park—for a little friendly competition. Divide into teams for a battle of the blocks, parents against kids, or just randomly then give yourself a fun name and face off. You can stick to the traditional camp games of tug of war, egg spoon races, and capture the flag or create your own events. How about a game of paper plate balloon tennis or water bottle bowling? Visit Laureate Park, an Ashton Woods community in Orlando, FL. Source: The Shabby Creek CottageSummer is made for memories. And with these tips for entertaining your kids, your summer—and home—will be full of happy ones.