Kids At The Cottage
Last year, we took the kids to a cottage for the first time. We'd rented a cottage up in Huntsville for a week. My kids were 1 and 3 - I know, what was I thinking? Seriously, though, taking kids to the cottage no matter what the sacrifice is one of the best things you can do for them. They'll experience nature beyond the city park, try so many new things - like boat rides! - and they'll be busy with all sorts of cottage activities, rain or shine.
I was lucky last year because my parents were staying at the cottage with us. So, I was able to hand the kids over to them and get a break now and then. This also gave my parents a great opportunity to spend quality time with the kids and experience the natural beauty through their eyes.
It was a great trip. An unforgettable trip. And the kids and our family are looking forward to going again this year. This year, though, we found a cottage with a swing set - bonus!
Now that we've been to the cottage once already as a family, I'm sure to be even more prepared this year. So, here's my list of TOP 10 things cottagers with young children need to bring:
1. Toiletries. For some reason, I always forget the kids' shampoo/body wash when we go away, and tear-free shampoo isn't something you can find in most small-town convenience stores;
2. Bathing Suits and Beach Toys. You want a little break, and Grandma's not with you? Beach toys! Especially if you're staying on a sandy beach, beach toys are a must. Kids will have endless fun in the sand making sandcastles, shoveling, etc.;
3. Kids' Sunscreen and Mosquito Repellent. Again, small-town convenience stores might not carry kids' sunscreen or mosquito repellent, so be sure to bring some with you;
4. Snacks. Crackers, chips, carrots, fruit, juice boxes, raisins, pretzels, cereal, milk or formula;
5. Marshmallows! Kids love sitting by the fire and eating roasted marshmallows. Bring some graham crackers, and make smores;
6. Potty/Toilet Seat. Just trust me on this one. Don't forget the potty...;
7. Shoes for the Beach. Whether its crocs or water shoes - to protect little feet from the lake/ocean floor;
8. Clothes for all Kinds of Weather. Don't forget raincoats, rain boots, sweatshirts, jackets and sun hats;
9. Portable Crib. Be sure to check out if your cottage provides a crib. If not, you can bring a Pack n' Play (that's what we did);
10. Books, toys, games. For rainy days and indoor play, be sure to bring your kids' favourite toys, books, colouring books, play dough, and games. This will also give them a sense of security and routine - enjoying their books before bedtime, etc..
Oh, and one more....
I'm really looking forward to taking the kids to the cottage again this year. And, they couldn't be more excited! Now that they're a year older, and there's a swing set behind the cottage (did I mention that?), it'll be even more wonderful.