Ok, I am not discovering America here but honestly, these ideas have made a big difference in our outings.
I am honest here, I love planning big trips and long days out, far from home. And I still need easy-going lazy days to recover from the overwhelm in my head. Actually, the lazy days offer great opportunities to connect with your kids and laugh together.
Going to the local park is easy- does not require much time, effort and money. But my older kid may complain and often refuse to go. Then I take out one of these five cards I hide up my sleeve.
- Read in the park- call it a reading trip to the park. Ask your kids how to call it. Pick up your book, let the kids choose a book or two to bring along. Go to the local park. Whenever you feel like, maybe after the kids have run wild for a while. Look for a hint, when they need a break, when they look bored or when they need calm time or a break, and announce the reading time. Read on a bench. Read lying on a bench. Read under a tree. Read on a picnic blanket. Try reading with a soft voice, or whisper read.
- Draw or paint in the park- bring some paper, or a sketchbook, a few pencils or paint, if you feel like. Draw what you see, make a self-portrait. Draw your family. Draw the park. Collect leaves, stones, sticks and draw the shapes on paper. Or paint sticks, leaves, stones. Use leaves and sticks as brushes. Have fun. Bring extra towels and tissues, even extra clothes to be prepared for messes.
- Treasure hunt in the park. Bring small buckets or bags to the park. Set a timer and collect as many treasures as you find. You may want to decide on what is not allowed to go in (trash for example). In the end, they may bring home one tressure.
- Living things hunt- find as many different insects as you can. Bring a magnifying glass. Observe, describe, draw, take a photo. Discover through the magnifying glass. Fun for everyone.
- Craft time in the park- bring some paper, cardboard, glue, tape, threads and create. Collect anything around – sticks, leaves, acorns, pines. Make collages or create headbands, crowns, necklaces, sun catchers. Anything indeed!
Simple like that! Try it and let me know how it went. What did you discover about your family, your kid, yourself?