Sunday, August 23, 2015

Summer Staycation

I believe that everyone has a need to slow down and recalibrate, and children are no exception.  Especially for an urban-dwelling child that splits his time between his two parents, it can always feel like there is just never enough time.

And I can be guilty of trying to fit too many activities into a short period of time.  Both for efficiency's sake, but also because sometimes it is more difficult to slow down.

So I was not too sure how a week's staycation was going to play out for Henry & I, seeing as I had not one concrete plan.  Lots of ideas yes, but purposefully no concrete plan.

At first I presented an array of activity options to Henry, but he was only really interested in staying-in and relaxing.  Relaxing to Henry means getting to watch cartoons on Netflix and/or playing video games on the iPad.

After considering different approaches, I decided to make better friends with video games.  And that I wasn't going to have any strict limits on his screen time over the week's staycation, so long as we did at least one main outing per day.

In the end, Henry was very keen to have me sit with him while he played a game, and we would either figure things out together, chat or get excited or silly.  In other words, it was a tool for us to still spend time together and just slow right down.  And dare I say, it was fun?

And after a few days of relaxed limits, he naturally was interested in doing non-screen time activities such as horseplay, board games and playing with his "friends" aka his stuffed animals.

And so here was the week IN PICTURES:

Friday:  Luther cat face painting from daycare.

Mr. Pickles 

Saturday:  Harbourfront outing 
What is this, a peach?

"Let's go on that boat!"

First, we explore!  There's a zip line tower...

A Barbadian show...


...a Wishing Wall...

...Paddle boats!  "Lets' go mama!"

We grab some provisions and sign up
for a boat tour on the Shipsands.

Chilling out the rest of the day with some games.

Sunday:  church & Shaun the Sheep movie.
There is an arcade at the cinema, of course.

Build fort.

Build a stuffy hammock.  

Monday:  video games and a bike ride

Bike ride to park...

...and along the Ashbridge's Bay trail to...

...a rocky point, where we stop and have lunch.

Having fun?

We climbed a lot of rocks.

Tired at the end of the day.

Tuesday was an errands-based day, relaxing at home with games/Netflix and then Henry had a karate lesson.  Surprise!  He will be graded on 29 August for his white/orange belt.  

Way to go Henry!

Wednesday:  Centre Island!
Riding the ferry



Centreville train

Swan boats

Picnic silliness

"Can I go in the water?"

Lots of sand and water play


Thursday:  playing with Luther...

and with Stuffies (everyone is surfing).

Making cookies, he's a good helper.

Post-playdate diner lunch.

Henry made a rocket ship by himself!

Friday:  decorating cookies

A team effort

"Here you go Luther!"

Making a horse cookie for Mr. Pickles.
Monster cookie for Winston.

And then, after 7 days together, he was gone.
And so it transpired that once we got into the new rhythm of the staycation, there was more than enough to do.  Just spending time together was key, what we actually did was secondary.  It was just the ticket for both of us, to reconnect, relax and to have fun!

It was difficult to say goodbye to say the least.  But happily, my friend invited me out to the country for the weekend.

Local produce + prosecco...

+ paddle boat = good decompression

Impressive BBQ skills
And a fitting ending.