Oh spring break! I was hoping to be somewhere outside with friends soaking up some sunshine, breathing some fresh air, and enjoying a couple beverages around a campfire while making s’mores. We were planning on going to Joshua Tree National Park to go camping, hiking, and climbing for a couple days. It would have been a a fun-filled mini-vacation for us as a group of friends too as the weather here in Southern California is definitely warming up now for spring.
I’m sure there are countless spring breaks that are sadly cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 shut down. It honestly breaks my heart thinking about it. We didn’t do huge, extravagant spring breaks when I was a kid. We did a couple road-trips here and there, but that would have been heartbreaking just the same to have planned something for a couple months, only to be stuck at home. Kids are resilient though, but we need to remember they have feelings and sometimes their emotions are hard to process, especially disappointment.
Since we won’t be participating in our traditional spring break we had planned, I still want to give my kids a break from homeschooling and their new social distancing quarantined and friendless lives. I’ve seen several memes about how we, as parents, need to make this time as stress free and fun for them as possible. I totally and 110% agree. As kids, they should not be concerned about toilet paper, grocery shortages, or how massively wide-spread this virus has become. We need to give them memories they will look fondly back on when they are older. We need to try to remember they are kids and their worlds have been flipped upside-down overnight.
As mentioned in my post yesterday, National Parks Staycation, I am planning on creating a couple days worth of a National Parks-themed at-home spring break for my family. You might think I’m crazy for this, and I probably am. I have bought a couple National Parks books and a “Trekking the National Parks” game from Amazon. (See yesterday’s post here for those details).
Today is going to a be a bit of a prep-day for me. I am going to set up our tent inside our apartment with an airbed. Next to the tent, I am going to put up our Christmas tree (without lights or decorations). Depending on how things go, I will probably string some white Christmas lights up onto the ceiling, walls, (?) for “stars” or put a bunch over the tent somehow. we shall see, TBD.
If you don’t already have a tent, I would recommend something small like this one: It’s a 2 person tent that would fit in a living room easily. It would probably take 5-10 minutes to set up and about the same to take down. If we didn’t own a tent, this is what I would purchase for your spring break staycation event (unless you have 4 kids that are going to sleep in it, then I would get 2 or get a bigger tent). This would be a great little “play” tent for the kids that you could actually use later like at a family BBQ reunion, at the beach, etc…
I have also found that there are Junior Park Ranger programs online with different activities to earn badges through the National Parks. While the parks are currently not mailing their badges for completion of their little mini-courses, we could still complete them and send it in later for the badge, once things are back to normal. (I might see if I can print an image of the completion badge, find/make a certificate, etc… again, TBD and I will post what I end up doing).
Clearly, this idea is a work-in-progress. I have the foundation for my idea set, we are going to study, watch, read, do the Junior Ranger Program activities (as best we can), camp in the living room, and make our own “National Parks Staycation” from home. I don’t have all the details set yet, but I will be posting updates this week about our happenings if you are following along.
So for today, as I mentioned, I am setting up our tent in our living room and our Christmas tree. I am going to figure out a way to incorporate Christmas lights to make it seem like stars. I will be getting out sleeping bags. I am going to find our tote with camping supplies and see if there is something fun I have forgotten about in there.
Prep-day Sunday! We will be jumping into our staycation tomorrow! I’ll keep you posted with what I find and ideas!