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Vacations – But What if it Rains?!?!

By Elizabeth Pantley, Author of Perfect Parenting

Situation: It never fails, when we’re on vacation, the rains hit. We’re all stuck in the hotel room, and inevitably everyone gets grumpy. How do we keep the kids happy if this disaster strikes again?

Think about it: To quote the insightful words of William Shakespeare, “Nothing is good or bad, only thinking makes it so.” Hey, you’re still on vacation, no one has to go to work, or go to school, and you don’t have to cook and clean. You can still find plenty of ways to enjoy the time.

Solution #1: If you read this book before you left, you’ve packed some indoor activities. If not, venture out to a local store, and buy a selection. It will be the best money you spend on the trip. A few ideas are: paint by number sets, Legos TM, balloons, head sets with music and books on tape, puzzles, clay, and hand-held computer games. One toy that’s a hit for many kids from about age three to ten is a selection of plastic miniature animals or bugs. Many kids will play happily with these for hours. There are many favorite games that are made in small travel size versions, such as checkers, chess and even Monopoly TM. Check out the local toy store.

Solution #2: If you’re lucky enough to have a kitchenette in your room, allow the kids to play house. Let them use the dishes and supplies. Cleaning up the mess is worth it, since this activity will keep them busy for long periods of time. Even better, let room service take care of the mess and give them an extra tip.

Solution #3: Let the kids build a fort using tables, chairs, blankets and whatever else they can find. Let them play, eat, and even sleep in the fort. Need I say it again? The mess is worth the hours of happy playtime.

Solution #4: Fill the bathtub with water. Toss in anything you can find that can be used as water toys, such as cups, plastic dishes, and empty shampoo bottles. Let the kids enjoy playing in the water and don’t worry about the splashing.

Solution #5: Play “Easter Egg Hunt” using coins. Hide them all over the rooms and let the kids find them. Have a scavenger hunt, or a treasure hunt.

Solution #6: Set up a beauty salon. Let the kids practice hairstyles, paint each other’s fingernails, and put on make up.

Solution #7: Let the kids play dress-up with your clothes, if you’re comfortable with the idea. Have a fashion show. Put on a play. Have a concert.

Solution #8: Let them play in the rain! Just dry them off and give them some hot chocolate when they come in.

About the Author:
Elizabeth Pantley is the author of several books, including
Gentle Baby Care : No-cry, No-fuss, No-worry — Essential Tips for Raising Your Baby, The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night, Kid Cooperation (with an introduction by William Sears, MD), Perfect Parenting, as well as her latest The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers and is also president of Better Beginnings, Inc. She is a popular speaker on family issues, and her newsletter, Parent Tips, is seen in schools nationwide. She appears as a regular radio show guest, and has been quoted in Parents, Parenting, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, American Baby, Working Mother, and Woman’s Day magazines. Visit Elizabeth’s web site

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