The cold winter months often see families hunkering down at home, venturing out only when necessary. However, a change of scenery can lift everyone’s mood. With a bit of planning, a winter staycation with little ones can be enjoyable for all. Here are five tips to help make your winter staycation a success.
Choose Toddler-Friendly Accommodation
When booking accommodation, be sure to pick a family-friendly place. Opt for self-catering cottages, lodges, cabins or apartments where you’ll have access to a kitchen for simple meals. Check what baby/toddler gear is available, such as cots, high chairs and changing facilities.
Places with an indoor pool can be a godsend when you need to tire out energetic toddlers, but they do tend to be more expensive. Pick accommodation with play areas and toys to keep your little ones happy and engaged indoors.
📖 Recommended Reading: If you’re looking for more useful information, check out How to Keep Toddlers Busy in the Car on a Road Trip
Research Indoor Activities
Even though it’s winter, you’ll want to head out with toddlers to break up long spells indoors. Search for indoor play centres, soft plays, activity parks and museums suitable for toddlers near your accommodation. Places like castles often have tours and events designed for young children.
Check theatre/arts centre schedules too – many have interactive shows for kids. Having a list of toddler-friendly activities will allow you to adjust plans based on weather and mood.
Pack Lots of Winter Gear
Don’t let winter weather deter you from outdoor adventures. Pack snowsuits, wellies, hats and gloves so you’re prepared for playing outside. Thermal layers underneath will provide extra warmth. Take sledges and build-a-snowman kits to ignite outdoor imaginative play.
Waterproof all-in-one outdoor suits allow toddlers to happily play outside without getting too wet or cold. Having the right gear makes venturing out enjoyable.
Take Games, Toys and Craft Supplies
Be sure to overpack toys, books, puzzles and arts/crafts materials. This will keep everyone entertained and happy during downtime at your accommodation. Favourites toys or comfort blankets from home are must-packs too.
For toddlers, choose activities that don’t require too many pieces or steps, like giant floor puzzles, stacking cups or lacing cards. Play-Doh, crayons, and colouring supplies also keep little hands busy. Having a variety of toddler-friendly entertainment options is key when spending lots of time indoors.
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Build in Rest Time
Don’t overschedule your days out. Toddlers need plenty of downtime, so build in afternoon naps and quiet activities daily. Being in a new environment can overstimulate little ones and throw off routines. Make sure to stick to usual meal and bedtimes as much as possible. Signs of overtiredness like tantrums, tears and grumpiness are clues they need rest.
Be prepared to change plans and have a cosy afternoon of movies, stories and cuddles when needed. Relaxing together doing simple activities can be the most precious part of a staycation.
If you are caring for foster children, always check with your foster agency, such as Fostering People, before you book a holiday, as you may need permission to take your foster child away.
Staying closer to home for some quality family time can be just what you need this winter. With toddler-friendly accommodation, activities, toys and realistic expectations, you’re guaranteed to make wonderful memories on your winter staycation together. Most importantly, go into your staycation knowing that toddlers can be unpredictable – be flexible and focus on having fun versus trying to stick to a rigid itinerary.
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Last Updated on January 28, 2024