With schools closed for the remainder of the year, many summer camps following suit and parents needing to continue working from home, we’ve enlisted the help of kids club directors and education coordinators from notable resorts and destinations around the globe to provide fun and imaginative ideas to help keep your children entertained. Whether you have a budding artist, aspiring actor, future scientist or super scout, these activities are sure to inspire creativity and learning, while also giving you a second to breathe.
Minutes away from the gates of Walt Disney World in Orlando lies Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa. Their team suggests DIY flower paintings using simple items, including an empty water bottle, scissors, paint and construction or plain paper. Start by cutting the water bottle in half and saving the bottom half. Next, dip the bottom in the paint and press it onto paper, creating spring flowers. Let your kids decorate the flowers however they choose by adding a stem or drawing in a ladybug.
The Clubhouse Kids Club at Royalton Riviera Cancun encourages kids to learn more about different cultures through arts and crafts, languages, cooking, music and dance. The Clubhouse Kids Club director suggests creating homemade maracas to inspire movement and creativity. To make these musical sensations, you’ll need two plastic eggs, dry rice, tape and four plastic spoons. Fill the eggs with the rice and tape the seams shut. Next, tape two spoons to each egg with the handles facing down, then tape the two handles together. Time to perform with your new instruments!
To bring imagination to life by acting, dancing, designing sets and directing shows, the Stars Kids Club at Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica prompts kids to explore a world where they can do it all. Help your kids produce and perform their own blockbuster at-home movie. You’ll need at least one child with an active imagination, an audience (family members or toys), props, costumes and a camera or your phone to capture it all. First, select the story you’d like to act out. Recreate a favorite show or bedtime story, or come up with something new. Create homemade tickets you can collect at the door, and set the stage by using sheets or curtains as backdrops and dimming the lights. Gather costumes and props. Old Halloween costumes work great, as do parents’ closets. Definitely dress up, because the costumes are half the fun! The Stars Kids Club suggests running through the show once before performing, it to make everyone feel more comfortable. When that’s done, roll out the red carpet, get the popcorn ready and prepare for what is sure to be a memorable performance.
One of the ways Montage Palmetto Bluff likes to engage children is its Montage Merits program, where children toast s’mores, bike River Road and spot bald eagles. They receive a merit badge for each completed activity, ultimately earning “Gilbert the Gator” status at the resort. “While it can be challenging to do some of these activities now, you can still create your own at-home merit program,” says Amanda Valovic, children’s program manager. “Why not roast a s’more in the oven (with parental supervision), build a blanket fort, spot a squirrel outside the window, bowl a strike — at Wii bowling? There are many opportunities for you to build a merit program of your own.”
Speaking of s’mores, The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark currently holds the record for the world’s largest s’more. The Kartrite recommends an at-home version of the ooey-gooey dessert, with just three ingredients and a few simple steps. “Get the kids and have them help gather six graham crackers, six fun-sized chocolate bars and/or peanut butter cups and six marshmallows,” says Head of Activities TK Kopp. “Preheat the broiler, have the kids help assemble the s’mores (without topping them with graham crackers) on the baking sheet, and place under the broiler for a few seconds until the desired level of toasting. Remove, top with remaining graham cracker and enjoy as a family!”
Education Coordinator Layne Mikesell at the Challenger Learning Center in Tallahassee, Fla., recommends creating fun, DIY art that also teaches science lessons. For instance, children can create a colorful design on a coffee filter with washable markers, then drop small amounts of water onto the filter. This will have the same effect as what happens during tie-dye, and kids will observe capillary action — the ability for a liquid to flow upward, against gravity.
Discover The Palm Beaches from the comfort of your living room, including underwater digital escapes and DIY science experiences you’ll have to “sea” to believe! To spur education during a time of isolation, the Loggerhead Marinelife Center is broadcasting a Virtual Coastal Classroom from the Outdoor Sea Turtle Hospital that focuses on sea turtle and ocean conservation for eager minds of all ages. If your child prefers sci-fi over the seascape, they can tune into South Florida Science Center and Aquarium’s virtual classroom for daily short science demos and DIY lessons, weekly virtual exhibit tours and, of course, scientist story time. Whichever adventure they choose, children can spark imagination and continue their education, discovering The Palm Beaches at their own pace.