So it’s back-to-school time… yay! While most parents look forward to getting the kids back-to-school, some may also miss being able to bond with their kids over vacation and family outings. But the fun doesn’t have to end just because summer break is over. There are still many unique adventures to be had that will keep the family bond strong and infuse a sense of excitement into dull school weeks. Below are some of our favorite things to do that chase away the back-to-school blues.
Pre-school Aged Kiddies
Train Ride to lunch – If you live in or near a city that has a commuter rail, taking the train can be a laid back day that is hassle free and full of adventure. My son and I do this occasionally and even invite his friends to come along when their schedules allow. We simply ride up a few towns and find a new downtown area to explore. We usually enjoy a healthy snack on the way up, then find a new place for lunch before taking the train back home again.
Bus Ride to a park – Yeah, to us a bus ride is about the same as taking the commuter train… but to a 3-year old, they are vastly different. Memorize the Wheels on the Bus song, check out your local bus schedule and find a toddler bounce house or park along the route. It’s a simple, inexpensive way to spend half a day… and young kids will love it!
Elementary Aged Kids
Treasure Hunts / Geocaching – Planning a Pirate’s Treasure Hunt is an awesome activity for elementary school aged kids but can be adjusted for any age group by simply changing the treasures they are searching for. For rainy days, hide your booty inside and on sunny days, you can take things to the yard or park. Kids love figuring out clues and finding their way to the ultimate treasure. Leave a lil token at each stop or make them hunt for that final pay-off.
Geocaching is an amazing global treasure hunt that is a great family activity and can be done in any city and most country sides. Just download the app and use it to find caches in your city or when when traveling. These ‘treasures’ are usually little stickers or a toy, but after the thrill of the find, it’ll be much more than that to your kids (and probably you). We always keep little toys or trinkets to exchange in our bags.
Other ideas – laser tag, roller skating, bowling, golf land… but let them man the map or GPS and navigate you there.
And Older Kids
Teens choice – pick it, map it, budget it, decide on the transportation… these are steps that help in becoming independent, productive citizens.
Remember mom, dad and beloved caretakers, while it’s fun to plan surprise weekends for your kids, it may be as much fun to let them call the shots and take you on an adventure!
What do you do to keep the adventure alive, even after back-to-school week? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!