I’ll be honest, it’s been a long and hot summer already! With the heat, continuing pandemic, and family travel canceled, it’s been hard for me to get up the motivation to plan fun things for my kids.
A couple of things that help in the last few weeks include:
- Reducing my inputs of news/social media (but keeping a little Real Housewives 😂)
- Kitchen dance parties
- and … traveling at home with family theme nights!
We started “traveling” to other countries at home this spring when our trip to Portugal was canceled. Next, we celebrated France and Taiwan. But in the heat of June, I just stopped doing them … until my kids asked me to do more! I didn’t know much they enjoyed the “trips” and loved looking forward to them until we stopped! We’ve now added a goal to experience all 7 continents and have added Rwanda and Peru. Next up, slushies for Antarctica?!
Each family theme night takes about 10-15 minutes to research. Each night contains 3 components of “travel” with your family at home including a recipe, music, and a family game or activity.
Check out these recipe and playlist recommendations for the 5 countries we’ve “traveled” to so far.
I usually look up recipes the day that I am planning to get groceries. For the most part, I try to find recipes that are written by chefs and home cooks from that country. I also look for easy to find ingredients. Some examples are Rwandan donuts called Mandazis, 3 Cup Chicken from Taiwan, and easy 2-ingredient French Mandiant chocolates. (My husband has requested the Peruvian Lomo Saltado and Portuguese Chicken to be on our dinner rotation!)
Kitchen dance parties are great any day of the week! The right playlist can definitely help put kids and adults alike in a great mood. We’ve loved dancing to traditional Portuguese music (listen on my Instagram here) and Peruvian Pan Flute playing. Check out my suggestions for YouTube videos that we watched during our dinners about each country, such as a National Geographic Kids video about Machu Picchu, Rick Steves in Lisbon, and Super Wings in France.
After dinner, I have a family game or activity for all of us to play together. It can be as simple as playing soccer in the front for Peru Night or sketching out a snail hopscotch grid on the driveway for a French children’s game called Escargot! There are a couple of great websites that I turn to for kids games from around the world including: Around the World in 80 Games (Digg.com) and this Pinterest list from Globe Trottin’ Kids.
There you have it! It’s a win-win in my book because we have something to look forward to as a family and maybe we learn something new!
I would love to hear from you if you do any kind of travel theme night with your family. Where would you want to travel at home next?? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Subscribe to the DC Area Mom Collective to get more quarantine-friendly activity ideas in your inbox every week!