Most kids have vivid imaginations, so it doesn’t take a lot of effort to turn your home into their dream holiday destination! Make-believe lockdown holidays was something we did a lot during the peak of the coronavirus crisis; we went to Scotland to see Granny, Disneyland, Tokyo, and even explored all the monuments in Rome. This weekend, when the weather was so warm that the news told is ‘it was hotter than Greece’ the boys immediately said ‘Mum let’s pretend we’ve in Greece!’ and so I thought it would be fun to share the no/low effort way I create a holiday park at home:
Resort and Spa. This isn’t just for girls (although you can probably do more with it with girls, in terms of adding nail painting, make up sessions etc, which the boys weren’t interested in). I played soothing spa music (just type ‘spa music’ into Youtube, or ask your Alexa to play you something), lay towels across the sofa, and then the boys enjoyed face masks followed by hand and foot massages. Of course, then they wanted to try doing it to mummy and daddy, which made a sticky mess! But it was a lot of good fun.
Kids Club. No cheap package holiday would be complete without a kids club! I printed off holiday-themed colouring sheets, played some European dance music for ‘party dancing competitions’ and we played inflatable hoopla and limbo. Lots of classic holiday party fun (I imagine – the kids have never actually been to a kids club, so we’ve based all of this on our own childhood memories!)
Food and Drink. I set up our cocktail bar with three signature ‘mocktails’ for the kids to choose from, whilst daddy dusted off the crepe maker and created a crepe station for breakfast in the dining room. After breakfast, an abundance of snacks were laid out on the table so the boys could help themselves from the ‘snack bar’.
Cultural Enrichment. Depending on where you want to visit on your imaginary holiday, many museums and galleries now offer virtual tours and visits. If your kids prefer something a little more uptempo you can also find theatre productions from local theatres online; many of these are free of charge. Because we were focusing more on relaxation than enrichment, for this trip, we took a virtual tour to Zia (via Youtube) to watch the sun set. Here are some suggestions for some great virtual tours we’ve tried:
Here is a virtual tour of the Natural History Museum
Here is a virtual tour of the Vatican
Here is a virtual tour of Buckingham Palace (exterior)
Here is a virtual tour of a Salvador Dali museum museum (we really enjoyed this one!)
Pool Party! The highlight for this trip was the 10 foot paddling pool we put up in the garden, and the new pool floats we let the boys choose themselves. They spent most of the afternoon floating around on it, occasionally ordering cocktails from their ‘waiter’. I had also set up their sand pit incase they wanted to hop out of the pool and head to the ‘beach’.
We also dropped a bag full of plastic coins in the pool, and told the boys they were on a snorkelling day trip to try and gather the lost treasure. This was a lot of fun, and get them practicing their new-found snorkelling skills too, which will be great for when we finally do get to go on our long-planned trip to Greece.
Create an Atmosphere. The smell off sun lotion and citronella candles is the smell of sunny beach holidays to me, so I lit a citronella candle to recreate that feeling.
As you can see, the level of parental effort here was pretty low, but as long as you stick to character and remember ‘where you are’ all day, this is something you can have a lot of fun with! My kids love it, and its a great way to remember the world outside our village whilst we’re still not able to travel as much as we like. Other ideas you might enjoy are:
- Virtual theme park visits by watching ‘on ride’ experience videos. We tilted their child-sized chairs as the rollercoaster turned to make the experience even more realistic!
- If you’re pretending to visit Disneyland or Disney World then visit the ‘art of animation’ studio: Disney have put loads of videos teaching you how to draw characters on YouTube, so that you can create the very same studio experience at home.
- Dress the part! The kids loved choosing their holiday outfits, and even packed little backpacks full of toys that they wanted to bring with them.
Have you tried taking a virtual holiday? Or have any ideas for keeping your travel mad kids connected with the world whilst travel is so difficult? I’d love to hear them!