It’s the weekend! This means that for many families, there’s time to explore, push boundaries, try something new, go someplace new. The thing is, many families either don’t realize that it’s easy to do, or don’t even know where to begin. So, here’s another installment of my Friday series. Now yes, I do tend to revert to advising walks in the woods or trips to the beach. Why? Because they’re great places to get kids to go to and appeal to many ages. There’s also always something new to do there. Think I’m getting stuck in a rut (how can the beach or forest be a rut)? Then pitch in, send me your ideas, I’ll give you credit I promise. Let’s make this a community sharing project.
The take-home message here is that it’s easy to get out and have an Adventure. Simple. Open the door. Walk outside. Play, explore, and have fun.
This coming Monday is World Ocean Day, but with our busy and hectic schedules I’m willing to bet that most people aren’t planning a trip to the beach on Monday. So why not do it this weekend? Sort of like if a kid’s birthday falls on Wednesday, it’s alright to celebrate with a party on Sunday, right? Pack a picnic lunch, sunhats and plenty of sunscreen, and head for the sand or rocky tidal pools! Just remember, pack out what you pack in, no leaving garbage. Take the opportunity to chat with your kids about what lives out there under the waves, and what we’re doing that might be changing life down there. Talk about why we care, and what the ocean can do for us. That picnic? Maybe choose some environmentally responsible seafood to include, or organic local veggies to munch on.
No ocean? Or not willing to brave the crowds at the beach? Well, all water eventually flows to the sea they say, so find a river or stream to picnic by. Play hide and seek amongst the trees, and chat about why trees near streams are good things, locally and more broadly. Teach your kids to climb a tree, but keep it safe. See if you can find anything living in the stream, talk about what you find, or why you didn’t. Bring an extra garbage bag and some heavy gloves, and pack out more than you pack in.
I’ve suggested going on a playground hunt before, but it’s worth another mention here. Not just because it’s good to get out of ruts and explore new places, but also because if you live in the US you could win a cool prize and help out a worthwhile cause. Take pictures of your playground visits and submit them, Kaboom Play is trying to find 100000 playspaces in 100 days.
Wherever you may go, bring bubbles with you! There’s nothing quite so amazing as watching a jumble of kids run around amid shining, sparkling, floating bubbles. Not enough sleep or caffeine? I dare you to stay in a bad mood. Play some tunes in the back yard, run and jump. Dip the wand in and wave it, don’t blow, you’ll get even more bubbles! Bubble trumpets are great for the younger set, as they don’t need much coordination to independently play. Cameron and Lolo blew, then jumped up and chased the bubbles. Bring extra wands for the kids, challenge them to see who can make the biggest bubble.
Go on a scavenger hunt. See how many different kinds of birds you can see. Does more than one species of squirrel live near you? No, grey and black are usually the same species. Around here in Vancouver we do still have some douglas’ squirrels, if I recall correctly from my wildlife courses way back when. Different types of flowers? Trees? Before you go, use google to look up field guides for whatever it is that you’re looking for, there are lots out there. Where to go? Stanley Park has marvelous trails – leave the beaches and you’ll leave most of the crowds. The Endowment Lands are a good bet. How about Bunsen Lake?
Not sunny where you are? Bethe has some great rainy-day ideas over at Grass Stain Guru!
What adventures will Cameron and I have? Our main Adventure Day will be Saturday, and it’ll be interesting to see how it goes. Michael Pollan is speaking at UBC Farm, and I have tickets. It sounds like Christina and friends may be having a picnic, and I hope to get Cameron exploring the farm a bit before the talk. Here’s hoping he allows me to listen to the talk!
What are you doing this weekend for fun and adventure?