Tuesday, July 28, 2015

End of the Summer Sanity Found! (Courtesy of Netflix)

Summer vacation. The time memories are made, fun is to be had by all, and dreams come true.

Okay, you can stop laughing now! If you are a parent, and you are anything like me, then you have reached the point of summer vacation where fun isn't part of the vocabulary... the home stretch. The kids are fighting from the minute you pry your tired eyes open in the morning until you finally get their stubborn little behinds into their beds at night. They are bored. And you are going insane.

You have already packed up and traveled to and from the beach more times than you can count and you have the sand in your backside to prove it. You have went to zoos and parks and museums. The kids have had play-dates and you have frantically tried to find places for them to go so that you can find TEN FLIPPING MINUTES of peace and quiet.

Everyone is burnt. out.

Well, I want to offer you a pass. A one-last-hurrah-of-fun pass, courtesy of Netflix. No, I am not talking about plopping your kids in front of the TV for hours on end so you can FINALLY accomplish something (although that is certainly tempting!) I am talking about adding a little adventure to your day without even having to pack up the kids and leave home.

"I don't have to pack up four screaming and fighting kids into a mini van and drive across town?" you ask.

Nope. You sure don't. You can have some fun right in your own backyard, and maybe even score that little bit of peace and quiet when you are finished.


And here's how:

STEP 1: Choose a show that your kids really enjoy on Netflix. They have so many great choices for kids. I chose their newest original show, Dragons: Race to the Edge, based on the hilarious kids' movie How to Train Your Dragon. If you want to get really tricky, you could keep the show a secret from your kids and try and get them to guess what it is at the end of the day.

STEP 2: Pack up the kids and head outdoors for a little themed fun! Use sidewalk chalk to have a friendly art contest. First, section off a few pieces of prime sidewalk real estate. Then, pick a show related theme to draw. (We chose to draw dragons.) Then let the kids' imaginations soar! Award the drawings with drawn-on ribbons in the corners of the squares and ice cream treats.

While they are drawing, you can prep the next step.

STEP 3: Have a backyard treasure hunt. Hide a few dollar store trinkets, related to your show theme, in your backyard and draw a simple map to mark where the kids should look for them. I know this sounds like work, but I swear to you that it took me about five minutes total to draw the map. Nobody is expecting Picasso! And I was able to hide the treasures while the kids were drawing their chalk masterpieces. The kids will have a great time searching for treasure, and you will be teaching them some valuable map-reading skills while you are at it. Someday their spouse will thank you for that!

STEP 4: Dress up as the characters of the show and take some fun pictures. Put together some simple "costumes" with old things around your house, or even let the kids cut out their own masks and accessories from construction paper. We were slightly spoiled for this step and used some awesome photo booth props that were provided to us by Netflix. The kids enjoyed using their imaginations to brainstorm creative "scenes" and I was rewarded with some really cute pictures to post on Facebook.

STEP 5: By this point the kids should be getting tired (or at least YOU will be) and so it is a great time to reward all their creativity and outdoor play with a little bit of screen time. Okay, okay...the reward is really yours. But I won't tell. Play an episode or two of the show for the kids and give them some fun themed snacks. We chose dragon claws (Bugles) and dragon scales (Doritos) to eat while we enjoyed watching the show.

Use your imagination. The possibilities are endless.

This post was brought to you courtesy of Netflix. I was compensated with free service and product to write this post, but all ideas and opinions contained within are 100% my own.

Dragons: Race to the Edge

Get a first look at the all-new Netflix original.
Dragons Play 2

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