When we go on a holiday we love to spend time together as a family doing things we would not normally do. We have so many cherished memories that have been formed together as a family unit whilst on holiday adventures.
And whilst I love spending time with the kids - I also enjoy being able to have time without them! A family holiday that includes a kids club or child minding has always been a favourable criteria on the list for us when choosing a holiday.
Whether it is the kids club on a cruise ship, a resort child minding program or a babysitter, it is important to balance your holiday so that everyone comes back refreshed and having had a break.
These are my top five reasons for including a kids club on your family holiday.
Whilst I love having a meal with children where I have to clean up their spilled drink, feed them their vegetables, take them to the toilet five times and stop them from fighting with siblings, there is something to be said about a quiet adult only meal. We enjoyed ten years as a couple before the kids joined Itchy Feet Family - the occasional meal together as a couple whilst relaxed and on holiday is almost an essential rather than a luxury.
2. Cultural Experiences for the Kids
I really love the kids being surrounded by locals and learning some of their customs and traditions. Whether it be taking your shoes off before entering a room in Asia, learning to weave a basket and say Bula in Fiji, or having a Cowboy in Texas teach you to ride a horse - the kids gain experiences that are personal and memorable. I have never come across an un-caring child care worker in any of the kids clubs we have utilised around the world and they love to pass on their culture.
3. Opportunities to Perform
Kids clubs love giving kids an opportunity to perform in front of parents and guests and my kids love it! Master 10 emceed a kids end of cruise show in the theatre of a cruise ship, performed a stand-up comedy routine and danced with fellow cruising kids. Miss 7 performed a solo gymnastics/dance routine on stage of the same ships. Together they have performed cultural dances on the Hard Rock Hotel stage in Kuta as well as traditional Fijian dances in front of diners at a Nadi resort.
These opportunities don’t come up for kids every day and whilst they still have the innocence of no inhibitions I absolutely encourage it. Not because I want them to be performers - but I just want them to have an attitude to life that they will give anything a try.
4. Forming Friendships
The Itchy Feet kids love a holiday that means they get to form friendships and hang out with kids they meet on holidays. We have had holidays where they jump out of bed in the morning busting to get back to kids club and hang out with their new friends. There have been times where we have had to beg them to hang out with us! But what more could you ask for than your kids being kids hanging out and playing - that is what childhood is all about.
5. Lasting Friendships
With the digital world, kids can now make friendships at kids clubs that continue past the holiday. As we did in the bygone era of writing letters to Pen Pals, kids now exchange Musically or Instagram accounts and continue the conversation post-holiday. Who knows how these connections will pan out - I would love my kids to keep those friendships alive and learn the art of long-distance communication.
What have been your experiences with kids clubs on family holidays - what benefits or unique experiences have your kids had?
Penny - Itchy Feet Family
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Penny, an avid Trip Advisor Reviewer, is the author of ITCHY FEET FAMILY. A family of 4 living in Adelaide, Australia, and taking every opportunity to travel and explore the world.