Tip of the Week

There’s a lot to love about summer: School’s out, everyone’s wearing flip-flops, the trees are a brilliant green and you tend to grill out more nights of the week than not.

For families across the nation, one of the best parts of summer is taking off on a vacation. It’s rare that everyone can sit down and eat every meal of the day together, see new things, discover unexpected adventures or explore a different way of life, but on a great family vacation, these things happen several times a day.

The hardest part of any vacation can be deciding where to go. You want to find a place kids and adults will love, and have an experience that will create lasting memories for years to come.

To help narrow down your family vacation plans, here are five things to keep in mind when planning:

1. Seek out unique experiences. The beautiful thing about traveling with kids is being able to celebrate their “firsts.” That magical excitement they have when they first feel the beach between their toes or see the ocean for the first time will warm your heart. This is why so many families head to a seaside getaway.

2. Act like a kid with your kids. Though you have adult responsibilities, that doesn’t mean you can’t act like a kid now and then. Build time into your itinerary for you to jump into the ocean, build sandcastles, float down your hotel’s lazy river or eat ice cream like it’s going out of style. Being an adult is great, but acting like a kid is better.

3. Let everyone pick a fun thing to do. You don’t have to do all the planning on your own. In fact you shouldn’t. Let the kids help to plan activities for your vacation. For instance, when visiting Myrtle Beach many parents present a list of kid-friendly activities to their little ones — such as the SkyWheel and Ripley’s Aquarium — and let them decide which one to visit. Allowing your kids to participate in the planning process like this helps to give them a sense of accomplishment, and feel like they made this vacation happen.

4. Stay where the fun is. When trying to decide where to stay, narrow your options down by considering how close you are to dining, attractions and other activities in the area. There’s nothing like being able to step outside of your hotel room and take a walk on the beach, collect sand dollars or build a sandcastle. Of course, lodging with an indoor water park will get an A+ from your kids.

5. Plan enough, but don’t overdo it. While an itinerary is great and can keep everyone on schedule, make sure to include time for relaxation or spur-of-the-moment activities. Be flexible. Sunsets, sandcastles and 100 other perfect memories often happen at the spur of the moment. Many times, the best part of a vacation is the surprise you never planned.

— Brandpoint

Family Movie Night

Tomb Raider (2018)

Rated: PG-13

Length: 118 minutes

Synopsis: Out on DVD now is this action-adventure film starring award-winning actress Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft, the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer. Croft must push herself beyond her limits when she finds herself on the island where her father disappeared.

Book Report

“Llama Llama Loves to Read”

Ages: 3 to 5

Pages: 40

Synopsis: Llama Llama is growing up and learning to read! Throughout the school day, the teacher helps Llama Llama and the other children practice their letters, shows word cards, reads stories, and brings them to the library where they can all choose a favorite book. By the end of the day, Llama Llama is recognizing words and can’t wait to show Mama Llama that he’s becoming a reader!

Did You Know

Be careful as you and your family play outdoors, as the warmer weather signals the start of tick season. Insect expert Kateryn Rochon says to prevent picking up ticks (and potential exposure to Lyme Disease) use insect repellents with DEET and wear long pants and closed toe shoes. After going for a walk in or near field and wooded areas, check yourself, kids and pets for ticks; note that some ticks can be so small that they appear to be a black sesame seed. If you find a tick that’s attached, remove it with tweezers and disinfect the area. Then mark the date of the bite on a calendar and monitor the person who has been bitten for 30 days. The development of a rash at the bite site or flu-like symptoms can be signs of a tick-related illness.

— More Content Now