I found this post I began writing way back in February fitting to get up this week considering it is National Park Week. Enjoy free admission to any National Park through this Sunday April 23rd. Saturday also happens to be Earth Day- what a perfect combination.
So, let’s make the rest of 2017 all about adventure. No one said that changes can only come on January 1st. Change can be positive no matter when you start. The biggest obstacle is often just getting started.
I hate long car rides even if I don’t have to drive. Pre-Emma, I had this awesome ability to fall asleep almost instantly in the car. It was an awesome ability that made many jealous including my hubby AJ.
Now that we are older, have more expenses (especially Emma) and need more gear, hopping on planes is less of an option for us. That makes driving a reality that I will have to embrace if we want to go on more adventures. We already survived a seven hour car ride to Utah in March to visit my AJ’s family. We’ve booked some trips that will require longer periods of driving including a Memorial Weekend trip to Glenwood Springs and the Sand Dunes this summer in July.
Many people are amazed at on how many places we go with Emma. We started her off early heading up to the mountains when she was just a month old. She was in the BOB rolling along on runs almost right away. She was in the Chariot being pulled behind skis at before six months and took her first plane ride at five months. Between all that and classes too, she is used to going here and there and has learned that most often it means we are going some place fun!
If you always wanted to be more adventurous, why not start now? These tips below can help bring out the adventurer in your child (and maybe you too).
Get the lay of the land- when trying something, or some place new, give time to take it all in. Stand back and let your kiddo explore the space. It’s a good time for you to make yourself more aware of your surroundings too.
Put yourselves in their shoes- Remember that this will be new to them and think about even as an adult how you feel trying new things. Share experiences with them about how you felt trying something new for the first time.
Baby Steps– It’s more than likely it will take some easing into rather than jumping in full bore. With this in mind, baby steps are the way to introduce new things. Free trial classes are perfect for this.
Motivate but don’t over due it– I am so guilty of this. I can’t help giving Emma compliments but too much means she’s always looking for more. Case in point, this weekend we took her to the Teller Farms trail to ride her pedal bike. She would take off riding but eventually stop, drop her bike and run back to us asking if she did a good job.
Allow them to pick their own interests– Create experiences that make them eager to go out again the next time. If you want to be more adventurous, search for interests you can share together.
Try new things/explore new places together- Believe it or not, I have never seen the Grand Canyon. I look forward to exploring this symbol of Americana with my little sunshine this summer along with my mom who hasn’t been there either.
Help them dust themselves off- If they are having trouble mastering something, be their cheerleader to try, try again. This is when the positive messages come in handy! Don’t be afraid of failure yourselves. Failure is sometimes the best way to learn.
Have fun- Remember the most important thing is to have fun.
Here is a slide show of some of the adventures my family has been on in 2017.
Additional Free U.S. National Park Visit Days:
August 25- Birthday of the National Park Service
September 30- National Public Lands Day
November 11-12 Veterans Day Weekend
Disney Travel + Family
My stories and photos from the National Parks (and more)