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Stay-at-Home Vacation Ideas for Family Fun

No Travel Vacation this year, so what do you do with the kids?

Well, I was a contractor for the DoS and home on break for part of April and May, returning on 12 May to Erbil, Iraq. While home, the kids wanted me to take them hunting. 

I understood this desire since we live in a rural area and many of the families in the area go hunting. I asked the kids why they wanted to go hunting and they stated that they wanted to kill the animals, because that is what they thought hunting was for. 

I explained that you only hunt and kill animals that you will eat. They remarked that they would eat what they caught, but I told them we had plenty of food and that we didn’t need to eat the animals on our property.

But like normal kids, they kept bugging me, so I told them I’d take them hunting. We had 21 acres of land with 15 of the acers heavily wooded with big oaks, pines, and hemlocks, so there were plenty of animals to hunt on our property. 

We normally had herds of deer sleeping on the edges of the woods and flocks of turkeys grazing, not to mention the rabbits and squirrels and birds of all kinds.

One day I told the kids that the next day we were going to go out into the field and woods to hunt. I explained how they would first need to know a couple of things such as:

  • Firearm Safety Rules.
  • Basic Firearm Parts and Operation.
  • My Range Procedures.
  • Firearm Handling.
  • Aiming and Shooting
  • Ear and Eye Protection 

Mr. Curt our neighbor had previously shot a deer and the kids got to learn how to dress it from him.

So, after giving the proper instructions, I took the kids one by one out into the fields and woods and showed them how to hunt and track game. Their older sister assisted in range safety, and I also made each of them work as a safety during the hunt.

They all did very well with each of them bagging a trophy. Shawn bagged a nice-looking Turkey; Jazmine nailed a great looking Rabbit and Izzi scored on a pair of wild birds.

This was not the hunting trip they expected since we only used a BB gun and their trophies ended up in their rooms. I had decided to use it as a learning experience in addition to appeasing the kids desire to hunt. They learned many basics that they eventually carried over to more serious firearms. Overall, we were outside in nature as a family having fun, for over 2 hours.

This idea can be used in the country, a local park or just around the house, with some modifications:

Instead of a rifle, trade it for binoculars, a camera or even just eyes. 

Put cardboard birds, rabbits or other animals in your yard, a park or local wood. 

You can modify it by giving each child a time limit to find as many animals as they can. Even the youngest can participate with help from their siblings or mom and dad. If you are opposed to using animals, put other objects out show them the list and have them search.

Another variation is a Treasure Hunt, where you give them a map of the planned area and have them look for a treasure. If they are old enough you can plan the first one and then have them make their own for other kids in the family or friends.

Financial constraints may prevent you from embarking on a major summer vacation, but don’t let that limit your options. Get imaginative with your plans and consider engaging activities that not only keeps the kids entertained but also doubles as valuable learning experiences. 

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