Not only am I *not* going anywhere sandy and sunny this March break, but I have to listen to the stories of my friends’ incredible resort getaways – to Jamaica, Dominican, Cuba and Miami. Don’t get me wrong – I’m happy for their wonderful travel adventures – but it seems everyone is going somewhere glamorous, while I’m stuck at home with my kids.
Then it hit me – if we can’t get to the beach, why not bring the beach to us? Inspired by my two daughters, I’ve decided to create a little beach party right here at home – a bit of escapism from the hum-drum of winter. Here’s the plan:
- Make it a Party: Let each of the kids choose a friend (or two) to have over for a couple of hours (if your kids are older, you could turn this into a sleepover theme).
- Dress the Part: Invite the kids to “dress for the beach” – dig out the summer shorts, tank tops and sunglasses (my kids *love* looking through their summer things and thinking about warmer weather!).
- Get into the Groove: Plan some beach-y activities. Try a scavenger hunt with water-themed items and get kids hunting for goggles, seashells and water-wings that you’ve hidden around the house. Let them try doing the limbo!
- Make it Colourful: Lay out some colourful beach towels in front of the TV and let them watch a beach or water-themed movie (think Finding Nemo, The Little Mermaid or Rio to name a few).
- Make Pizza Art: Pick up Greek pitas (perfect for individual pizzas) and chop up pizza toppings, such as green and red peppers, mushrooms, black olives, pepperoni and cheese. Set everything out on the table and challenge your kids to create a pizza picture – my six-year-old makes a great palm tree!
- Lost-in-Paradise Dessert: I fashioned a cute dessert that consists of a white cupcake (the island) in a bowl, surrounded by blue Jell-O (the water). Top it off with a stick cookie with palm leaves (I attached a bit of green construction paper stuck on with icing!) and you’ve got your own paradise island. Add a little parasol umbrella – the kind restaurants use in cocktails – and you’ve completed the scene. My kids love it when I add a couple of blue gummy whales in the Jell-O, too.
When it’s all said and done, it’s not *nearly* as good as getting on a plane and jetting off to a real beach. But you’ll have made some fun March Break memories that the kids will be talking about for a long time. Plus, after they head to bed, you’ll have earned yourself a margarita or pina colada – to enjoy while you dream of the beach.