The nice weather is upon us. Time to retire the playdates in bounce houses and indoor playgrounds for the outdoors. But how to get the sometimes resistant kids enjoying life outside…
Every spring, the kids and I plant a garden in the backyard. The amount of actual help they can provide is age dependent of course, but even the little guy likes to dig holes. I have very little gardening skill, but we always manage to produce at least a little something. The kids love seeing the flowers bloom, and filling vases around the house. And they are especially interested in the fact we can grow “real food” in our own backyard. I send them outside to pick peppers, etc., and they help me cook dinner as well!
We also love to go hiking, and there are so many great trails in and around the Triangle. Often we’ve got hiking events going on with Single Parents of the Triangle, and the kids love to run together. But sometimes I take the kids out alone, so we can have some “just us” time.
When they get restless, we play games – my daughter, now 7 years old, likes to take her own camera and take pictures of just about everything.
My son will be 3 in a few months, so he’s not quite ready for photography, but he enjoys “looking for letters” outside, whether sticks lined up to form an A, or a nice round rock that looks like an O. Once he grasps his letters a little more, we will switch to searching for objects that start with each letter.
Of course, there are tons of parks and playgrounds in the area (and Sarah posts great reviews of these!), which afford me the opportunity to pretend I’m still a kid, or, once in a while, sit back, relax, and just watch the kids play. They never cease to amaze (or scare!) me with their creativity and acrobatic skills.
A friend recently recommended we try out Geocaching, which I have heard of but don’t know a whole lot about. Sounds a bit like hunting for treasure from the kids perspective, but utilizing GPS to find hidden stashes. I think I sense a SPOT event coming on…
Stacy Lamb of Apex is the divorced mom of two. She also is organizer for Single Parents of the Triangle. Find her here monthly on Wednesday.