5 Essentials for Planning Kid-Friendly Adventures
“I want to go outside!” Those are words that every Avid4 Adventure parent loves to hear from their kids. However, planning your own adventures isn’t always easy. It’s seems like there are so many factors involved, not just simply where to go. If you want to keep encouraging your kids to get “Outside for Life” consider these 5 essentials for kid-friendly adventures.
1. Build-In Novelty
The first thing to consider with creating kid-friendly adventures is novelty.
Of course, you may be thinking this means there’s more pressure to create some adrenaline-pumped adventure that simulates a day at Avid 4 Adventure. Not so! In fact, there are lots of ways to include novelty into your family adventures. For example, you might try:
- Visiting a new trail, park, lake, or similar outdoor venue
- Practicing a new skill, even if it’s at a place you’ve previously visited
- Allowing your child more responsibility, such as being in charge of the map
- Going to the same location, but during a different season
2. Make Sure the Adventure is Challenge-Appropriate
Next, you want to consider whether the adventure is challenge-appropriate for your child.
If it’s too easy, they won’t find the adventure very engaging. Yet, if it’s too hard, they won’t have fun either and may be turned-off to doing a similar adventure in the future. Sometimes it’s easy to gauge what’s appropriate for your child. For instance, you probably wouldn’t take your child mountain biking if they are still a “never-ever” biker who hasn’t ridden yet without training wheels. When in doubt, ask your child what they want to do. In fact, include them in the planning of the adventure! It will help them stay more engaged and interested in the trip.
3. Have a Back-Up Plan
What do you do when you get to the trailhead and there’s a sign saying it’s temporarily closed? Or, what happens if weather moves in and it’s no-longer appropriate to go on the adventure. Always have a back-up plan ready. For example, let’s say that you get to the trailhead, but a Colorado-style summer storm has struck. Why not stall for time in the car with a fun game until the weather passes? If you need to change venues, consider other options that are available in your area.
4. Find opportunities for your child to Learn Something New
Every kid-friendly adventure is an opportunity for your child to learn something new.
This could be more formal learning, such as identifying plants and animals on a hike. On the other hand, it could be simply becoming more familiar with your local trail system. Remember, not all learning has to be in a structured setting. In fact, an outdoor adventure offers many benefits including the chance to learn more about yourself, your abilities, and how to work with others. Those are qualities that can be apply to many other aspects of life, not just outdoors.
5. Find Ways to Give Back
At camp, we try to find ways to give back to the places we visit. On your adventure, this could be as simple as picking up some trash along the trail. It’s a very simple gesture, but it goes a long way towards teaching your child the importance of taking care of open spaces. Some other ideas include:
- Attending a trail building day
- Participating in a wildlife animal survey
- Entering an art or story contest that benefits local parks
By keeping these five essentials in mind you can design kid-friendly adventures that your child will enjoy.
If you are still struggling with ideas, visit our California or Colorado recreation area resources where you can find sport-specific locations that our advetnure summer camps visit for hiking, biking, rock climbing, stand up paddleboarding, kayaking and more below.