Adventure Time is not only a great kids’ cartoon with some truly wonderful lessons to be learned about tolerance, friendship, forgiveness and togetherness, it’s also something that you and your family should plan in your schedules regularly.
They say that life begins outside of your comfort zone and while many adults use this as a mantra to shake themselves out of their familiar routines, it’s equally applicable to kids… In fact, in many ways it’s more important for kids. Adventure is more than just a fun activity, it’s a valuable commodity. Adventures allow your kids to develop and use their physical and cognitive skills.
Adventure excites the mind and stimulates the imagination. Kids are desperate for adventure; they read about it in books, see it in their favourite films and TV shows. Surely, we owe it to bring some of it to their day to day lives?
Of course I’m not suggesting that you should drop them off along the M1 armed with a pen knife and an ordnance survey map and leave them to figure the rest out for themselves… But planning a stimulating range of fun family activities can satisfy their thirst for adventure while facilitating their personal growth and, perhaps most importantly of all, preventing your kids from becoming slovenly couch potatoes.
Choose your own adventure
There are so many options for parents, only you can decide which kinds of experiences your children will benefit from the most. From trampolining to indoor skiing, from white water rafting to a long cycling trip, from camping to archery… the possibilities are practically endless. It’s up to you as a parent (because who knows your kids better?) to find the right balance between challenge and risk for your kids. Some kids rise to challenge with aplomb and a sense of excitement while others are far more reticent and would rather hunker down with a favourite book or the family tablet. That’s why it’s good to…
Encourage a “growth mindset”
Any parent knows that you can’t force a child to do something they don’t want to. All that will achieve is making the subject seem like a laborious chore. You can’t pressure them but you can encourage them to look past the initial disruption of their creature comforts to see the benefits. Explain how the experience will benefit them and the skills they will gain from it. Emphasise the advantages they’ll have over their friends and classmates or (my personal favourite) how much more it will make them like their heroes from Batman to Moana.
Nurture with nature
Exposure to nature is the first step to building a healthy and respectful relationship with our planet and even the youngest of us can be amenable to it. There’s nothing quite like spending some quality time amongst the scents, sights and textures of the natural world. Proximity to nature is one of the best natural mood boosters too!
Let’s get physical, physical
With child obesity on the rise, it’s vital that families make exercise an enjoyable shared activity rather than just another gruelling chore that needs to be gotten out of the way. Any kind of physical activity that increases heart rate while building strength is beneficial, giving kids greater self confidence than their sedentary peers as well as improving their overall health.
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