Every mom loves her time at the spa ... and every mom knows it's harder to get there once you have kids.
So why not re-create the experience at home?
Granted, you may not experience the same calm you'd get in a eucalyptus-scented massage room with the help of your gifted, professional therapist, but you can have a ton of fun creating a little R&R at home, and—bonus—it may even bliss out your kids.
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Get started with a free financial assessment.
Better yet: This spa day can be re-created with tips that cost as little as $2—instead of an afternoon that will set you back $200. Which is a whole different reason to say ... ahhhhh.
Time to get the little ones busy peeling cucumbers! Read on for our tips ...
1. Make Your Own "Spa" Shower
With a little imagination, many of the things you already have at home can be converted into spa gear. For instance, a spaghetti strainer has an obvious purpose in the kitchen, but move it to the bathtub, fill it with water and enjoy the "rain" from your fancy new showerhead. In a preschool, this would be a water table for sensory experience, but at home it's just fun. Let the kids use strainers, ladles, straws, sponges and any other implements that are safe and water-resistant to splash around to their hearts' delight.
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2. Set the Mood
You'll be amazed at how you can improvise a spa in your everyday bathroom. Light a scented candle (safely out of reach, of course) and create a lotion "bar" for kids to use in their hand and foot massages. Even a squirt of mom’s perfume can be an exciting substitute for true aromatherapy. Dim the lights, cue up some classical music (you can use a classical station through the free Pandora or Spotify apps—Bach is a good starting point) and let the spa experience begin.
3. Give Them a "Mud" Treatment
A mud bath might be a little extreme in your own bathroom, but what about a pudding bath? Chocolate pudding in the tub makes a fun finger paint for kids who still put everything in their mouths. Tell them they're going to get a mud treatment, and let 'em paint their way to happiness.
4. Juice Your Way to Happiness
Everything is better with a curly straw, including a kale-infused smoothie. Use spa day as a way to smuggle some extra fruits and veggies to the kids. Pop some kale, blueberries and bananas in the blender for a quick, easy and healthy smoothie. Don’t forget to serve in a fun glass with a strawberry garnish or mint sprig.
5. Create a Bubbly Oasis
Kids love bubbles in the tub, but think "more, bigger, better" and put them in the baby pool instead. All you need is a hose and a bottle of bubbles to keep your kids blissed-out and busy for an afternoon. But if they're going to sit in your "oasis" for an extended period of time, don't get too carried away with the bubbles: While there's no medical research directly linking bubble baths and urinary tract infections, it's commonly suspected that too much time in soapy water encourages UTIs among young children (especially girls).
6. Give Them a Little Shut-Eye
No spa treatment is complete without an eye mask. Templates are easily found all over the internet (such as this simple one from The Red Kitchen), or you can just trace a pair of oversize sunglasses. Print onto paper and trace the pattern onto a piece of craft felt or another soft, nonfraying fabric, then cut out and present to your spa-ready child with some glue, ribbon, markers and stickers. There's no need to get too precious about it—let the kids have fun decorating their own mask. Glue two strands of ribbon to either side, allow to dry and relax with your spa mask.
7. Add Petal Appeal
The decadence of rose petals appeals to everyone, but especially four-year-old girls. Of course, the petals don't have to be from roses—instead, they can be from whatever fun flower grows in your backyard, or the bouquet on sale at the supermarket. Let the kids help strip the petals—harvesting is almost as much fun as soaking their feet!
8. Let Them Baby Their Toys
Kids love to pamper their favorite playthings. Fill up a small bowl with water and supply soap, combs and scissors if you want to turn this activity into a full treatment salon for anything from Barbies to Transformers. Of course, you'll want to limit the guest list to toys that don't mind a dunk in the suds (sorry, Teddy!).
9. Try a "Scented" Pedicure
Call it the new aromatherapy. The term mani-pedi is synonymous with spa treatments, but you can elevate the experience with new Crayola scented polishes, which come in flavors such as blueberry, green apple and bubblegum. Of course, you can also go classic and break out whatever glitter polish is taking up space in your drawer. They'll just love ogling their newly-painted digits.