With the prevalence of remote work opportunities and accessibility to beautiful prefab cabins from Riverwood Cabins, owning a cottage has never been easier. While these lovely private retreats are a great way to escape the responsibilities of daily life and make the most of the summer in a technology-driven society, the lifestyle doesn’t come without its challenges.
Keeping kids entertained at a cottage can be a struggle, especially on rainy days or when space is limited. Here’s everything you need to know about surviving cottage life with kids and making the most of your cabin dweller lifestyle.
Plan Meals in Advance
Meal planning is likely one of the responsibilities you’d like to escape when venturing into the woods. However, this isn’t an option with growing children who some days seem like they’ll eat you out of house and home and other days hate their once-favorite meals. As such, you’ll have to plan meals accordingly before you go.
The benefit of the cabin lifestyle is that you’ll have to keep things simple. Choose lots of healthy snacks, such as sugar-free fruit and vegetable sauces, fruit cups, and single-serving yogurt containers to let your kids access some of their own snacks. Designate at least one big meal each day, while opting for simple sandwiches or barbeque goods at other meals. Containers of easily accessible chopped veggies can be a quick fix for a hungry kid and an easy side plate.
Plan Some Outdoor Activities
Bring along some outdoor activities for when your kids inevitably tell you that they’re bored. Create a nature scavenger hunt to get them looking around and experiencing the great outdoors while you relax with a book. Introduce some fun games, like freeze dance or Olympic-inspired activities that your kids can do to win a small prize.
Plan family-wide activities like going for a hike or swimming at a nearby lake or beach. Kayaking, paddleboarding, and canoeing are other options that will help the hours pass while getting in some exercise.
Bring Indoor Activities
Rain has a way of ruining the best-laid plans. Bring some indoor activities that kids can work on when it’s rainy outside. Teach them interesting card games and bring out their competitive nature to keep them busy. Board games are another option, especially when you have the compact travel versions. Consider leaving a few of these at the cottage.
Coloring books, art supplies, and other indoor toys can be purchased new from your local dollar store to be presented only when it’s rainy and miserable outside. This keeps their interest fresh and adds a sense of novelty to the items, which will act as a boredom buster.
Set Up a Kids’ Tent
Kids value their independence and privacy. If possible, set up a small tent or two outside of the cottage where they can play and hang out during downtime. This will help them feel like they have a place they can retreat to for some alone time apart from their siblings or parents. It can also give you a much-needed break when things start to get noisy.
If you deem it appropriate, you can even give the kids the option to sleep outside in the tent. This might give you a better chance of sleeping in as well as some quiet time in the evening to enjoy a glass of wine and a good book (or whatever puts your mind at ease).
The key to having an enjoyable time at the cottage is to be prepared and have fresh ideas at the ready. Whether its an impromptu evening of stargazing, exploring the local area or attempting to build something out of materials you find in the surrounding woods, kids who are engaged and active will have more fun during the day, and fall asleep easier at night.
Remember to give yourself a chance to relax and unwind while at your cabin, so that you can re-enter the real world with renewed vigor and energy.