It’s mid Spring here in NZ.
This is the time of year we start to dream of summer adventures – where are we going to go? What are we going to do? Who are we going to go with? FUN!
And then down to the nitty gritty…how are we going to deal with the logistics? Will the kids be on board with this? (And sometimes there’s that old chestnut – how are we going to pay for it?!)
The best advice I can give you is to GET THE KIDS INVOLVED WITH THE PLANNING right from the start.
Sit down together with a map, a calendar, pad of paper and a pen. Divide the paper into three columns.
What are the outdoorsy things your child really enjoys the most? Exploring rock pools? Hiking to a hut? Fishing? Make a list of favourite activities.
Next make a list of things that challenge your child: heights? Horses? Snorkelling?
Then make a list of things your child has NEVER done, but would love to try. Kayaking? Orienteering?
Get out your highlighters and mark the free activities in one colour, use another for affordable things, and the third one for things you’ll need to save up for.
If they are old enough, encourage your child to come up with money earning/saving schemes to contribute to the adventure fund – washing the extended families’ cars? Walking neighbourhood dogs? Selling things they don’t use on trade me? Investigating house swaps with families in other areas to save on accommodation? What ideas can your child come up with?
Do a bit of a google search to find the activities you want to do, or discover the area you want to explore. Where are some good places to go horse riding on the beach? Can you find some cave systems open to the public? Is there a ferry or water taxi to that island? Can you book a hut to stay in? See what you can dig up!
Now you can consolidate all of your ideas and costs into your calendar. Pin your hit list to the fridge, and plan to make things happen!
Do you need to do any training together as a family for these adventures? Have your children involved in writing up a training plan.
Start your packing lists – what do the children think they’ll need to take? Do they have all the gear they need? Is there anything they need to borrow?
What will you need in the way of sustenance? Get your child’s input on snack ideas and meal planning.
Ignite the excitement by doing a calendar countdown.
The week before the adventure, take them shopping with you for supplies or gear. Have them help pack.
Encourage children to research where you’re going and what you’re doing, and learn one fact to teach the rest of the family.
Keep a journal of your adventures. Let the kids take plenty of pictures. You could even make up a photo book of your adventures at the end of the summer – a great memoir to flip through on a winter’s night next year…
Have a fantastic time! I’d love to know what’s on your list – please comment below:
Calling all outdoorsy mamas!
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