We just returned from a trip to Newport Coast Villas with our extended family – all 25 of them. There were LOTS of children. We needed four high chairs, and four pack-n-plays, and 10 children were 6 years old and under! Preparation was the key, and it was a big success. Here are some of the things we did to help things go smoothly for the very youngest children.
Pack-n-play Of course, we had the pack-n-plays delivered to our villas when we checked in. The problem is where to put them that won’t interfere with bathroom visits and is in a somewhat secluded area that won’t be noisy or have interruptions. We discovered that the pack-n-plays fit perfectly in the 2nd bedroom closet! We’ve put the pack-n-play in the closet at Timber Lodge in Tahoe, too. It’s something you should try at whatever resort you are staying at. Shut the doors to the closet making it dark. You will still have full access to the bathroom and bedroom area, and the noise is muffled for sure.
High chair Most children drop food and have spills when eating in the high chair. That can be a problem in some of the villas, especially if you are on carpet. We took these high chair mats that you simply lay underneath the chair to catch the food. I didn’t think it did that much, until I got home and cleaned them up before I put them away. There was tons of dried food and stains on them – and NOT on the floor at the villa. Gives you peace of mind for sure.
Easy activities to keep small children happy
I highly recommend getting a bubble gun like these that we had – either use it inside or outside. Whenever the young children started getting fussy, these little bubbles brought out the squeals of delight immediately. Easy to grab when you need something quickly.
We also got little plastic ducks for the “duck pond”. You can write numbers or colors on the bottom with permanent markers. Then float them in a large bowl of water. The children pick a duck out of the water and say the number or match the colors. They loved the bobbing ducks, and it’s good for motor skills, too.
If you have access to a sand box like at Newport, or are at a beach, you can bury sea shells in the sand, and have them dig to find them. We bought the shells at the dollar store and they were very cheap. We went to the sandbox at Newport Coast Villas, and hid the shells in the sand. Then let the kids dig around and find the shells and put them in a baggie to take home.
If you are at beach, bring a cheap shower curtain (another Dollar Store purchase). Dig a hole in the sand and line it with the shower curtain. Then fill the hole with water. This kept them happy for a long time. The older kids helped fill it with water.
All of these activities are great to keep the little ones happy. The key to make it work is plan BEFORE you go.