Growing up, I used to wonder why my mom emphasized family togetherness so much. After all, wasn't that what a family literally always was: together?
Now, after starting a family of my own, I get it. I find myself pushing for us to gather around the dinner table at the end of the day, and I methodically plan ahead in an attempt to pin us all down for a weekend together. But, in the hustle of everyday life, it's become so easy to miss the people I live with. People are always coming and going, someone is always working, and another is always on their way to practice. If your family is anything like mine, your week is jam-packed with after school events and obligations, which makes those precious summer vacation days all the more valuable.
Even if you're not planning a week-long summer getaway with your family complete with all of the bells and whistles, that doesn't mean you can't reap all the same benefits of a family vacation. Staycations are not only much more wallet-friendly, but they're also significantly easier to plan.
We partnered with VTech to put together a simple list of products that will help you and your family have an even more fun and relaxing staycation — and lucky for you, most of these items are things you likely already have on hand.
1. Board Games
A time-honored tradition that's appropriate for all ages, take some time to gather around the table together and show your tribe some good old-fashioned family fun. Unplugging with a board game is a great way to unwind and engage each other, plus from the educational to the undeniably silly and everything in between, there's always something for everyone.
2. Craft Supplies
I look back in awe at how much fun I had as a kid with a couple of pipe cleaners or popsicle sticks. Stock up on paints, pencils, paper, and any other supplies that catch your (or your kid's) eye. Mixed with a little imagination, craft time can add up to hours of staycation fun.
3. A Video Baby Monitor
Whether you're up to your elbows in cake batter or firing up the grill out back, there will be moments in your staycation your little (and not-so-little) ones won’t be just an arm’s length away. You may not have a free hand, but you can keep an eye on your kids — big and small — from wherever you are in the house or yard with the VTech Pan & Tilt Baby Monitor.
4. Cake Mix
Sweeten up your staycation by baking something together. Whether you're an outstanding baker, or you're just extraordinary at licking the leftover batter from the spoon after mixing, the fun is in the experience with this one. It's a good chance to show your loved ones what goes into the process, and let them experience the fun of getting their hands dirty at the same time.
5. Bath Toys
It's never a bad time for a sudsy deep-sea adventure or a leisurely wade in a lukewarm pool — both of which are possible in your very own bathroom no matter the weather. Bring new adventures to bath time by making it feel much more like playtime thanks to some fresh, fun bath toys and bubbles.
6. So Many Blankets And Pillows
Maybe you're creating the most epic fort ever. Maybe you're cuddling together for a long overdue family movie night. Maybe you're just encouraging mid-afternoon naps so you can get some peace and quiet. Whatever your plan, keep your options open by making sure you have the very softest, snuggliest blankets on hand.
Encourage little engineers-in-the-making with blocks of all colors, shapes, and sizes. Let your big kids pile them high into intricately constructed skyscrapers, or let your baby experiment with the fun of creating their own little world this weekend.
8. A Garden Sprinkler
Don't you just love when a household item can double as a toy that your kids never get tired of? Assign your kids the daily task of "watering the lawn" (*wink wink*), and let their imaginations turn your backyard into their own bespoke waterpark.
Want to transport your family ~literally~ anywhere? Stock up on reading material! I used to spend hours on end getting lost in the wizarding world, and now I keep tons of books about the adventures of swashbuckling pirates, space explorers, and medieval princesses around the house for my own kids.
10. Dress-Up Clothes
Whether they're putting on a full-blown production or just playing pretend, there's no better way to shake up the day than with a stash of dress-up clothes. Think superhero capes, funny hats and glasses, masks, old dresses, uniforms, costumes, and jewelry. You never know what cast of characters you'll have traipsing through your house, but they're bound to be entertained.
This post is sponsored by VTech.
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