What do you DO on holiday with young kids? Especially if you're on your own?
When I was single I thought of a holiday as exploring somewhere I'd never been to before. Maybe an interesting, historical city or perhaps a beautiful landscape. Plenty of walking, sightseeing and learning about the culture. Or trying a new activity. Not necessarily far-flung or expensive. But basically something active or different.
My DDs are 4 and 1 1/2 and in the summer we'll be revisiting a mediterranean town we go to each year (because my husband's extended family live there). It'll be lovely to see his relatives at the weekend but on the whole I'll be on my own whilst we're there, plus possibly the occasional afternoon with DH.
Before anyone points it out.... I know I'm lucky to get a holiday at all - a change of scene and some extra sunshine. And I realise that I have to change my expectations from pre-marriage/kids. I'm really after more constructive suggestions as to how to keep it interesting for all 3 of us.
I've seen the local sights many times now and we visited all the tourist spots in the country before we had kids. I'll obviously spend some time reading to them but, again, not all day, every day - we might as well be at home. DD1 is also into dancing, drawing and crafts. DD2 likes soft play and dolls. But I can't see how I can included any of that in our holiday. Any ideas?
I'll be hiring a car and there're beautiful views from the roads but parking's difficult away from the apartment. I'll be 20 mins' walk from a small, very busy, but sandy, beach and it's usually sunny and around 24-33 degrees. But I'm really not looking forward to sitting on a crowded beach all day, every day, making sand castles for a whole week....
Should I steel myself to a very boring long week or has anyone got any bright ideas for making it fun for the kids and myself? I could budget about £20 a day for entertainment.
What would you pack to keep them (and me) happy and what would you plan to get us all out of the apartment?
Thanks for reading all this and for any suggestions.
I would arrange a new holiday destination next year.
DD is a single child and until she was 4 we always went proper sightseeing, plus the beach, plus playing in the villa with some games, did drawing or writing, watching a movie and reading tons of books.
Now we still do all of this but go somewhere where she also has other children as playmates. We found that it gives us all a break. We did farmstay holidays and she loves running around the farm and playing with other children while we sat on the balcony, had quite time to read or relax.
Does your DH's extended family has any children? At that age language barriers are not important. Otherwise you will have to bite the bullet and go sightseeing again with them. I found that doing this with young children give me lots of different views about displays in museums or stately homes.
Are there any waterparks or children facilities like petting farms, zoos, big playgrounds around? Think what you do with them at home and look for similar things around.
And I would bring some colouring pencils/crayons and lots of paper (free printable from the net and plain paper too) for art in the appartment (could get very creative in different environment).
Maybe bring or get some bottles of bubbles for fun in the sun (in park? or on beach) when it's not too warm. And get a couple of small water pistols to spray water when very warm. Bring a ball for the park in mornings or later afternoons.
Dolly picnic at the beach or park would be at least one fun afternoon.
leave the kids with the family and do whatever you like to do? sit in a cafe? read a book? invest in an ipad or a kindle to keep them and you occupied and lots of space for other toys in your suitcase.
Unfortunately the other children in the family are nearly adults, so at school all day and the area's not geared up for entertaining kids as per the UK. I can't work out what young kids do there at all.
DD needs to play imaginary games wherever we are, so I always ensure she has the 'kit' to do so. At the moment, she is playing with rope and sticks (she is a cowgirl showjumper atm), in the past it has been her dinosaurs, her playmobil, her farm animals etc. Added to that books, crafty stuff, etc. Could you get your older DD to do some sort of project over the holiday - wildlife or flowers or something? She could draw and describe them in a little book. Many press petals that sort of thing? Also, take some card with double sided sticky tape on it. Get your girls to stick stuff onto the card - pebbles, leaves, sand, shells, anything they spot really. DD still loves doing this on holiday and then doing show and tell or something when back at school.
No water parks there unfortunately but the week's starting to sound better already.
Public pool teaching DD2 to swim Local playground, ball-games, etc Hottest afternoons indoors doing arts & crafts Local wildlife project (great idea Callisto) Beach for bubbles, dolly picnic & challenging Bramshott to the crown for bestest ever sandcastle, etc Boat trip (if safe for littl'un) Dinner out a few times
The key seems to be packing our own entertainment. What would you add to this list?
Have you tried googling such and such city for kids or toddlers and see what suggestions and activities come up? Another good indoor activity for avoiding the hot bit of the day is baking and also scrap book making with stuff you have collected on the beach etc.