Adventures with kids could be anything from hiking a trail, biking in the neighborhood, fishing to going on a scavenger hunt. Obviously, things will be scaled back from your pre-kid days. We pick trails that are flat and easy for everyone to enjoy. Fishing at a nearby reservoir on a kiddie fishing pole is one of my son’s favorite pass-times. The main goal is to get outside as a family and have some fun. These are a few things I have learned in creating adventures with our kids:
1. Make a plan.
Tell your toddler about it. If we have a scheduled plan we are more likely to follow through. It could be as simple as, we are going to take a walk around our neighborhood lake. Then our four year old will be overcome with joy and anticipation of this event. Baring an emergency room visit, you have to go. This is not a good strategy if you are wavering. I would not recommend disappointing toddlers.
2. Realize you might have to bail on your plans.
Go with the flow. Anything could happen. Kids get sick unexpectedly. Has your kid ever just thrown up out of nowhere? Suddenly had a fever when they were fine in the morning? Yep. Snuggles and a movie are all that will do on these days.
3. Don’t mess with schedules
I still have very young children that take naps (god willing) and follow a set schedule for meals and bedtime. During our first camping trip last year, my older son missed his nap. We were sure it just wasn’t going to happen so we decided that we might as well go on a hike anyway. Bad idea. He collapsed mid-trail crying and screaming. He was tired and delirious. Obliviously no hiking or even walking was taking place. We carried him, flailing, back to the campsite. Take it from me and don’t skip naps for adventure purposes.
4. Come prepared
Parents of toddlers are generally not light packers. We are no exception. Bring snacks, water, a camera, a change of clothes, diapers, wipes, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses-you get the picture. If you forget one item out of 100, you will be ok. Life goes on and chances are you aren’t too far from home or a grocery store.
5. Be present
You made it. The adventure is happening. No one is crying or at least not too much. Take it in. Make memories.
We hope our kids will remember our time together, unplugged, over the latest toy of 2018. As a couple, we appreciate spending time in nature and being active. We would like to instill that concept with our children. We aren’t perfect at this or even close to being experts. Of course, doing anything with kids can be a little challenging. But we try to make an effort, and I hope these tips will help you too.
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