Recreating Vacation Memories in the Backyard

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As part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias, I was able to recreate some of our favourite family vacation memories in our backyard.

The nicer weather means our Summer BBQ Sunday sessions will be starting up again and the family will be spending more time together outside. Although it would be nice to whisk away on a vacation, I found with a visit to Canadian Tire I was able to recreate some of our favourite vacation moments right in our backyard.

This past January we took a family trip to Oahu in Hawaii. We had a great time shopping and eating and discovering another side to the Island, including a visit to Kualoa Ranch’s Secret Island. The private beach was wonderful and we could borrow all sorts of water equipment to enhance our afternoon but for my kids one of the most memorable moments on the Secret Island trip was playing ping-pong.

Crazy right?

It’s not a game we play at home since we don’t have the space but I think it was playing outside, with the sun shining down through the tall swaying palm trees that added to the whole experience. When I stumbled upon this Anywhere Table Tennis game I thought it would be a perfect way to recreate that vacation memory at home.

canadian tire outdoor summer fun tabletennis set

canadian tire outdoor summer fun tabletennis setup

The adjustable net means it can fit most table surfaces, including our outdoor table. It didn’t matter that not one of us could actually play the game. Everyone was just as thrilled to hit the ball and to run after it when they missed their return. It was a game that got the kids moving and laughing. Plus they loved sharing stories from our Kualoa Ranch trip, since the set reminded them of such a fun experience.

canadian tire outdoor summer fun tabletennis play3

canadian tire outdoor summer fun tabletennis play2

canadian tire outdoor summer fun tabletennis play

Another great family trip we took was to Disney World, staying in one of the Fort Wilderness cabins for the first time. It was nice to have our own space compared to a hotel room and being just a boat ride away to Magic Kingdom was definitely a big plus but what really made an impression on the kids was Josephine, one of the staff at Fort Wilderness. She instilled in the kids a love of hula-hoops and not just using them the traditional way.

canadian tire outdoor summer fun fort wilderness

When shopping for summer fun ideas at Canadian Tire I found classic hula-hoops and their price made it a no-brainer to pick up two. The kids loved showing off their hoop twirling skills, around their arms, their necks, and their middles. My son was awesome with swinging that hula-hoop around his waist.

canadian tire outdoor summer fun hulahoop 1

canadian tire outdoor summer fun hulahoop 2

But then they started using the hoops the way Josephine had shown them on our trip. They would try spin-walking them (a little hard in our backyard but they tried) and target shooting the hoops to land over an object.

canadian tire outdoor summer fun hulahoop walk

canadian tire outdoor summer fun beanbags

Toss in a few beanbags (another great store find) and the kids started to come up with their own games of toss. Not only did these games stem from great family vacation memories, enabling them to recreate and relive those experiences, but they encouraged a little friendly competition. Even if you raise your kids to play co-operatively, they will probably encounter competitive games among their friends and in the schoolyard. Playing these games at home enabled the kids to understand and work through winning graciously and losing without bad feelings.

canadian tire outdoor summer fun beanbag toss

canadian tire outdoor summer fun beanbag toss2

canadian tire outdoor summer fun beanbag toss3

I think the Anywhere Table Tennis set, hula-hoops, and beanbags will make a wonderful addition to our outdoor game box. Even if we can’t get away this summer, these memory-inducing games and activities will keep us busy reliving and adding to some of our favourite family holiday moments.

If you want to read more on my shopping experience at Canadian Tire to find the perfect outdoor activity items for the family, checkout my Google+ album.

We all have great family vacation memoires. How do you recreate those experiences after you return from a trip? How will you be keeping your family active outside this summer? Perhaps you have another hula-hoop or beanbag activity we can try. Share your thoughts below.

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