When I was a kid playing out in the mud was actually pretty fun. We also used to ride our bikes for hours on end, and my mom would search the neighborhood trying to find us. Things have really changed now, and unfortunately, most kids would just prefer to stay inside with the mundane than really explore options that make for a great adventure.
A few years back we had to evacuate for a hurricane and ended up diving to a friend’s house in Kentucky. A beautiful 40-acre ranch with the 3 of us adults and 3 kids. We gave the kids the guidelines: don’t cross a city street, stay on the property, and you can go anywhere you want. Sounded simple enough, so we sent them outside with visions of them running around and having these great adventures in the woods. Unfortunately, that is not what we got. You’re not gonna believe this, but all 3 kids stood outside the front door and just stood there. It took one of us going outside and literally showing them what to do and where they could run to before they actually got the momentum going. It was quite comical.
This is what has happened. And the fewer adventures we have with our kids, the more things like this are going to take place. The next time you have a vacation or long weekend, throw a little creativity into the mix. Here are my top recommendations to ramp things up for a cool adventure:
1. Encourage creativity.
There are great websites, like King of Random, where you can make something really cool and exciting. You might have to actually use tools, which is a great thing for all kids to learn to do. The internet is full of ideas. The other day we made a marshmallow blowgun and can I tell you, that occupied a good 3 hours of time, between making it, playing with it, and then, of course, the marshmallow clean up.
2. When you’re on the road, life doesn’t have to be that expensive in order to have some really fun adventures.
Always check out the local state parks, you may be pleasantly surprised at some of the fun things you can do, such as kayaking, bird watching, or simply bike riding around. Then don’t forget about Groupon or other sites like this. I have found all sorts of last minute deals for the family. We have raced go-carts, gone bowling, you name it, at a fraction of the cost. This makes for a great weekend adventure or even just a little bit of weekday fun.
3. Start to enjoy public transportation.
I know this might sound mundane but every city has so much to see. Think about it, teaching your kids how to maneuver on a bus or trolley is a life lesson that every child should understand. Each city has great apps that tell you when the bus is coming and how to get to your next destination. The same goes for the train, metro rail, or even the subway. Next time you want to go to the library or just experience a different area of town, make an entire adventure out of it, you’ll be amazed at how fun this can be.
With video games, YouTube, and all sorts of other electronic devices, it is up to us, the parents, to teach our kids a different way of experiencing life. Tech has its place and granted it did help us with some of these adventures. But it never took over the adventure. It helped us to experience them firsthand, and that is priceless.
With Love and Light,