You finally were able to reserve some down time from your busy schedule and spend time with your family. Whether you decided on a day outing or a multi-day adventure, it always helps to plan in advance especially when it comes to adventures with kids.
The following are our five tips that have worked well for our family and we hope that they will be of benefit to yours as well!
Don't Overload Your Itinerary
Don't pack your adventure with insane amounts of activity. Focus instead on creating a great relationship with your kids. Allow everyone to pick or vote on the activities and talk in advance about what you hope to accomplish. It's best to plan one big excursion a day, with room for smaller ones if you have the extra time.
For example, if you decide to go fishing - how long do you plan on being out there? What are your reasons for fishing, to catch something for dinner or introduce the kids to the sport? Afterwards, if you have the time will you head out for ice cream or spend time at the arcade?
Tailor Your Approach to the Kids
For the adventure to have any chance of success you will have to adapt your plans to your kids, rather than expect them to adapt to yours. Know your kids and view your plans from their perspective. Consider your kids' personalities and maturity levels and think about what life is like at home, then picture that with a different backdrop.
For example, if you have small kids who can barely go without whining after a few blocks of walking in your neighborhood, they may not be ready to hike a couple of miles. You may need to start at half a mile and gradually progress from there.
Divvy up responsibilities by assigning tasks to your kids according to their abilities. This will not only lighten the load on you, but will give your kids a feeling of accomplishment because they were able to pitch in. You will still need to make sure it gets done, though. Otherwise, you will feel like you should have done it all yourself - which is something you don't want to do.
For example, if your kids like to bring certain toys and snacks with them on trips, have them pack them in their own small bag that they will be responsible for carrying and packing on the way back.
Do Some Research
You can't control everything, but it pays to do some research and plan ahead with kids in mind. Once you decide on the adventure, you should research things like details about the venue, the best time to go, the weather when you plan to go, etc. so that you know what to expect.
For example, avoiding crowds with kids in tow will cut down on the chaos. It will lower your chances of becoming that busy, angry parent. You want to be the relaxed, connected parent.
Go With the Flow
So you decided on an activity, you tailored your plans to your kids, you assigned responsibilities, and you did your research. Last thing on the list? Be prepared for the plan to not go as planned and roll with it. It's best to keep adventures with kids simple and to have low expectations. At the end of the day, if everyone is still smiling, then you've accomplished your mission for a fun adventure.
For example, you decided to introduce your kids to your love of skiing. However, your youngest one didn't want to get back on the chair lift for another round, because he said he didn't like being so high up. You and your spouse may need to take turns waiting with him while everybody skis. Decide that maybe he's just not ready and he can try again next time you go.
If you keep these five tried and tested tips in mind, we assure you that your fun adventures will outnumber your not-so-fun adventures. Even the not-so-fun ones would still be kind of fun.
We hope this helps!
P.S. Got tips of your own? You're welcome to add your 2 cents in the comments below!
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