As more and more kids just spend their days with their face glued to a screen, I try to come up with fun things for my kids to do outside. Sunday’s are a “device free” day where we all unplug and enjoy each other’s company. I try to find things to do that don’t cost too much, but are also rewarding. You’d be surprised how little it takes for the kids to have a great time they’ll remember forever
I packed up my family in my truck with some food in a cooler, the dog, and we hit the road for about a 20 minute drive to a park near me. We posted up and immediately my son and I were throwing the football around. I played on the jungle gym with my daughter too. Later we rented a paddle boat and went out on the small lake in the park. My intent was to spend all day here, just taking in the good weather and nature itself.
The kids had an absolute blast and it got me thinking about how today, parents are so quick to either shove the ipad into the kids hands, or take them to do the same things (arcades, movies, etc) that end up costing you an arm and a leg. I only spent $14 on food for everyone. I didn’t know this, but the park has grills built in, so if you wanted you could bring your own charcoal, and grill hot food on the spot.
I think that quality time with your kids, away from “the world” is as important for them as it is for yourself. I didn’t give a shit about any emails or meetings, deadlines or any of that. It was refreshing to just relax, enjoy the experience, and deal with that shit later. I see too many guys stressed the fuck out by their jobs, letting it consume them every second of their lives. I have a job that is very stressful at times, but they get their 40 hours out of me, and not a second more (without paying for it of course.) The wife seemed equally relaxed and happy. It was just an overall good time.
Next time you want to get out of the house, consider doing something similar. Hell, even just “retreating” to the back yard can be fun in its own right, but I feel the small road trip makes it even more fun for everyone involved.
I think throughout the rest of the summer we’re going to do things like this. I want to take them all fishing, hiking, and perhaps even camping overnight, but for now, our family picnic is going to do it for us. Let me know if you have any other suggestions that are similar.