When your kids look back on their childhood, what do you want them to remember? Will their anecdotes be about marathon World of Warcraft sessions and watching Netflix or will they be able to look back on family adventures discovering new things and exploring their surroundings?
It’s worth setting aside a few hours each week to spend some quality time together as a family. Not only will getting away from the lure of the sofa make your kids more adventurous, self-reliant and healthy, it’ll also improve relationships within the family.
The trouble is that we soon run out of ideas for activities and end up with an expensive trip to the cinema or a soft play centre, especially when the weather is less than tropical.
A great starting point is Tim and Kerry Meek’s book, 100 Family Adventures, written with the help
of daughters Amy and Ella and the family Labrador, Sally.
It could change your family life forever.
Some adventures are simple spur of the moment ideas, like exploring rock pools, learning to read a map, or exploring ruins, while others need a bit more planning and preparation.
Teach your kids how to build a shelter in the woods, build a raft, cook outdoors or paddle a kayak. Spend a day without electricity and work out how to cook, keep warm and entertain yourselves by candle light or lantern. Probably best to let the neighbours know what you’re planning, so they don’t think the electricity has been cut off!
Build up to trips that involve an overnight stay, perhaps combining geocaching with spending a night in a log cabin, or giving slacklining, watching red deer rut, or making a rope swing a go. Sure, you’ll get wet, miserable and muddy, but you’ll learn a lot, bond as a family and have some great stories to share.