The Family Adventure Project said it better than we ever could, ‘[I]t’s easier to put the TV on isn’t it? It’s less hassle to go shopping. The kids are busy and the adults need some downtime. What’s so great about doing things together anyway?’
But toss aside the safety net of handheld consoles and morning cartoons for a second. We take our kids’ desire to go outside for granted. There’s nothing more magical, or more character-building than a jumped-in puddle, or a climbed-up tree. All those necessities that you used to think were home-bound – feeding the kids, keeping them entertained, stimulated and happy, and staying on top of your own downtime – you can do it better in the great outdoors.
Maybe there’ll be some teething issues when a toddler misses their favourite toy or game. Maybe you’ll witness the same issues when you can’t check your cell. But give them just a couple of hours in the forest, or on a nature trail, and you won’t believe how far their imaginations can take them (and the same thing goes for you by the way). The whole world is a play-thing if you give it enough energy; rocks, streams, twigs, dirt, and sand. Sure they’ll get a bit gross, and you will too, most likely, but so what? That’s how it was meant to be. Learn by exploring; grow by learning, and become an awesome adult using everything you’ve learned.
You don’t have to go far. Just walk the path less travelled with those you’d most like to walk it with. And one day, when they’re having kids of their own, they’ll know where the benchmark’s at.
Tell us all about your family adventures over on twitter, or right here on the site.
P.S. If you’re stuck for ideas, here are a few things you could try:
- Utilise your back yard. Go camping in it; set up a treasure hunt, or cook s’mores. Anything’s possible with a bit of imagination.
- When you’re visiting the park (or similar) let your little ones lead the way and explore for themselves. Give them a map, and have them figure out which way to go.
- Kids ask, ‘What’s that?’ all the time. Instead of telling them, when you’ve got some time, take a detour and show them up close. This applies to landmarks, wildlife, nature, and just about everything else.
- Get involved in community projects. For instance, check out this guy from the Netherlands. We plan to get something similar underway, too – so stay tuned for that.
- Take a night-time trip (at the weekend, of course). Teaching kids about the night sky is not only educational, but fun too.