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10 Fun Things to Do With the Kids on Your Staycation

Make the most of your vacation time when a costly trip isn't in the cards for your family. Whether it's a week off school or summer break, these staycation ideas will keep your clan happy and help you make memories that will last a lifetime.

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Photo: Van Chaplin; Styling By: Jan Gautro

Build a Fort

The joy you felt as a kid building a fort in the living room is alive and well with little ones today. Use some of your downtime to revel in this simple childhood pastime. You can opt to go the high-end route and build a permanent and reusable fort, or keep it old school by using chairs, blankets, sheets and every pillow in the house. This activity will keep the kiddos busy while they're building, and once it's erected there are hours of fun to be had reading books, playing make-believe and rebuilding it once it (inevitably) gets knocked down.

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Photo: Cassidy Garcia

Get Scientific

Science experiments can easily get pushed way down on the to-do list when school and work schedules are jam packed. Use your vacation time to do some experiments. You'll sneak in a little learning while the kids are having loads of fun. Make slime and learn about non-Newtonian fluids. Hand-dye some flowers for a kid-made bouquet, or have your young Einsteins create some squishy soap for your bathroom.

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Photo: Image courtesy of Felicia Feaster

Visit a Botanic Garden

If you think of botanic gardens as a place to entertain grandparents, but not little kids, think again! Spring is the perfect time to introduce future green thumbs to these often overlooked gems. Many of them have children's gardens where the kids can get their hands in the dirt, touch the plants and even taste some of the things that pop out of the ground. Because it's not indoor, you can rest a little easier about how much noise they make. And if they get tired, you may be able to plop down in the grass for a little R&R. Go ahead and pretend you're lying in the yard of your personal vacation villa.

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Be Crafty

A staycation can be the perfect time to take control of the chaos that happens in your house when you've got kids. You can sneakily get the kids involved with clean up with this fun crayon craft. Have them gather up all their sad nubs of broken crayons, sort them into their favorite color combos and with your help, they can create beautiful multi-colored coloring discs.

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