Recently we went on a mini vacation to my husband’s cousin’s house. We will call her Lisa. Pre kids I always thought of vacation as going somewhere I have never been before. My husband and I would make day trips from our campsite or hotel and spend most of the day away from where we slept. Post kids we have a little less disposable income and we have learned that vacationing closer to home and staying with family can be just as fun.
While confirming plans, Lisa mentioned that she would would wait to collect the eggs from her chickens until the kids came. She also knows that my children like to camp and we haven’t had many camping trips this year, so she set up her popup camper in her driveway. With a pool in her backyard, I knew this vacation would be a big hit.
After a five hour drive our kids were ready to run around and explore. Lisa took them right away to the chickens to collect eggs for the morning. A bit hesitant at first, they had never been able to freely roam with chickens, they quickly got into the groove of egg collection. The smiles and giggles that came along with this were priceless.
The rest of the first day we spent swimming, picking berries, and the kids ran around the backyard exploring. In the evening the campfire was lit and we made my favorite camping snack, s’mores. The kids stayed up late and were overly tired. Usually this would be a problem trying to get them to bed but because we were “camping” in the camper they were so excited and when straight to bed.
The next morning we woke up and had our farm fresh eggs for breakfast. After breakfast, Lisa’s husband, a certified bee keeper, took the kids to explore the bee hive and talked about the importance of bees. Prior to this trip, I taught my children that bees are essential to our food supply and that we need bees to be able to eat all the delicious foods we get from the farm. The kids seeing the bee hives gave them a visual learning experience to the idea of bees taking care of the plants. The rest of the day was much like the first, playing with the chickens, swimming, berry picking and backyard exploring. My kids had so much fun that my daughter asked to go again but to stay for longer.
After the trip I realized how much fun you can have just going to someone’s house and not having a plan. Sometimes I have to remember just because I have gone somewhere before doesn’t mean my kids have and each stage of their childhood they will have different experiences at that location. So if you are looking for a family centered vacation with the kids, try to visit a home that has so many things to explore just in your hosts backyard. You may be surprised on how much your kids enjoy spending time with extended family and they may even have a new learning experience.
Written by Jamie Jackson