Children learn a lot about who they are and how they fit into the world by experiencing different situations. Not only do they find out more about themselves, but also about the people around them and how things work in their community and in our world. Here are some ideas of experiences to share with your kids before they spread their wings.
Go Fruit Picking
Whether you go strawberry or olive picking, this is a fun activity that can be enjoyed by even the youngest children. You will find plenty of websites, which offer information on the fruit you can pick and the time of the year you can do it. Usually there is some cost involved, but you get to take some of the fruit home with you.
Start a Family Tradition
Most families have their own traditions, such as having a special meal, celebration or a holiday. Family traditions are a big part of who you are today and passing them onto your children is a great gift and strengthens the bond between you and your kids.
The tradition can be something as simple as having nachos every Monday or it can be more elaborate.
I started a new family tradition when my son was born – each year I buy him 2 special Christmas decorations. I figured by the time he leaves home, he will have enough ornaments for his own Christmas tree. When he was little I would choose for him, but now that he is older he selects his own decorations.
Visit a Different Country
Visiting a foreign country can be an eye opener, not only for kids, but also adults. Whilst reading books about different cultures is interesting, there is nothing quite like experiencing it yourself. Showing children how people live around the world builds compassion and appreciation for what they have at home. Admittedly, overseas travel can be costly and if your family is not able to afford it, then perhaps attending cultural festivals is the next best option.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
What better way to teach your children the courage to step out of their comfort zone than by example. Are you afraid of heights? Then visit an observation tower or book a parasailing experience. Your willingness to face your fears will give your children the confidence to try something new.
Give To Others
Whether it is serving meals in a soup kitchen or giving old toys to charity, your kids will feel the incredible pride that goes with giving to those less fortunate.
Create a Toolkit
Most kids love tools and if your children are old enough, then you can create a tool kit with real tools, including a hammer, screwdriver, tape measure etc. Teach children the responsibility and safety measures that each tool requires and involve them in some household projects. If you have girls, who may not be interested in boys’ tools, you can create a special sewing tool kit or jewellery making tool kit.
Go on a Submarine
Explore the underwater world in the comfort of a submarine or even on a glass bottom boat. It is fascinating to see what lurks below the surface. You can also visit submarines in museums, such as Australian Maritime Museum and learn what life is like aboard a real submarine.
Make Up Your Own Family Recipe
Take an old recipe and add your own family twist to it or make one up from scratch. It can be an entrée, main course or dessert. Children love getting messy in the kitchen and if they are involved in the decision making, they are more likely to also eat it, so perhaps encourage them to include some vegetables in the recipe if appropriate. You could even make it into a fun family & friend activity. Choose two ingredients, for example eggplant and garlic and then get all involved to make up their own recipes using the key ingredients.
Start a Collection
Collecting things can add an extra fun element to any trip, whether you are travelling locally or overseas. Collections don’t have to cost anything – collect shells, rocks, beach glass or any other items found in nature. You can also find inexpensive items at markets, thrift shops and antique stores. Some examples include postcards, cups, buttons, travel magazines etc.
I could never understand why people love to fish. You sit by the water for hours, often coming home empty handed. Then I tried it with Master 12 and I got it.
We sat for a long time by the water, enjoying the calm atmosphere and lovely scenery. We even had a few nibbles and pulls on the fishing line, but most importantly, we got to chat uninterrupted. We didn’t catch any fish that day, but we left there relaxed and happy.
For more ideas to see, do and experience with your kids, check out the following: