Family ‘vacations’ for single parents who can’t afford a trip or can’t get off work



Many single parents can’t take a summer vacation. It might be because of finances, or possibly they don’t have vacation time. Even if they have vacation time, they may not be able to go anywhere.

Single parents still need to connect with their kids, and staying home playing, cooking, and just being together can benefit single parents and the kids. The answer might be to suggest a “staycation” where the family stays home and has fun.

Vacation suggestions for the single parent

  • Make bubble snakes. For kids of divorce who might be stressed, this activity is great to help them learn to breathe deeply. Bubble snakes are easy to make and last a long time. All it takes is a sock, an empty water bottle, and duct tape. Instructions can be found at
  • Play with sidewalk chalk. Let the children draw on the driveway or the sidewalk.
  • Create a funny message for your voicemail with the kids. Call your phone, and let them listen to the funny message.
  • Have fun cooking new recipes, or call Grandma and ask her to share some family recipes. Make a special scrapbook of the family recipes you and your children like. Don’t forget to include any new recipes your family uses, and remember to also make a recipe scrapbook for the boys.
  • Plan funny menus mixing ethnic meals, such as pizza and taco night.
  • Have a backwards day when everyone wears their clothes backwards. It’s a great day to eat hamburgers and hot dogs for breakfast and French toast and scrambled eggs for dinner.
  • Rearrange the furniture, and make a silly pathway in the living room. One time, we put two of our couches together and slept in the
    middle of it. Crazy night!
  • Have a picnic in the living room.
  • Run through the sprinklers outside at night. Just make sure you can see!
  • Make water balloons, and invite over another single-parent family for a fun time.
  • Make some goop. Mix 8 oz of white glue and 6 oz of water. Separately combine 1 tsp of borax and ½ cup of water. Pour the borax mixture into the glue mixture, and mix with your hands until all the liquid is absorbed, and the texture is smooth.
  • Make industrial-strength bubbles. Mix 6 cups of water, 1 cup of corn syrup, and 2 cups of regular-strength dish soap. This makes huge bubbles.
  • Wear glow-in-the-dark bracelets and necklaces, and take a walk around the neighborhood, or go to a safe park in the late evening just before dark.
  • Put a glow-in-the-dark bracelet in a large bottle of water, and take it outside for light.
  • Put a glow stick inside a balloon before blowing it up. It’s a real treat to see.
  • Read a passage in the Bible, and have the kids act it out. Or put it on a skit, and let the kids read the parts of different characters. The children might even want to dress for the parts, using ties around the head or bathrobes for costumes. Get creative.

Be sure to let single parents know about all your church activities, and make a special point to invite them to participate.

Hopefully, these ideas will get the creative juices flowing for the single parent. If not, here some websites that might help.

More fun than you can imagine can be found on these websites: 4th of July coloring pages and even a Bible lesson on the 4th of July that a single parent can use at home Crazy ideas such as mustard and ketchup painting for summer fun in the home Several water games for kids. Water can be soothing for children of divorce who are stressed and just need to relax and have some fun. A fun water game with instructions and a video explaining the instructions Tony Kummer has many coloring pages for children to enjoy. Jennifer Wolf on has a great article on stay-at-home vacations.

If you have other fun ideas, please share them with us in the comment section.




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One thought on “Family ‘vacations’ for single parents who can’t afford a trip or can’t get off work

  1. Pingback: DC4K » Question of the week: What are you supposed to do when you suddenly have your child full-time for 4-6 weeks?

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