Friday, January 27, 2012

Traveling with my kids: 5 favorite outdoor activities

Whether we're traveling or just spending a day doing something together at home, my kids do love being outside. And as I've said before: being outside seems to make them happier than pretty much anything else.

Here are 5 of their favorite outdoor activities, at home and away:


On the beach in Maui.
1. Going to the beach
The beach is one of those places where I can take the kids and just see what happens. Maybe they want to just walk along the water, throwing an occasional rock or stick into the water. Maybe they want to gather rocks and shells (that would be my daughter). Or maybe they want to splash and swim, fly kites, build sand-castles, dig, stare at the ocean (that would be me), chase seagulls, poke at dead crabs, climb on logs and driftwood, or... the list goes on.

Hiking in Lynn Headwaters, North Vancouver.
2. Hiking
My kids love "going to the woods", and we have several favorite hikes around Vancouver. There's always stuff to look at, like slugs, bugs, dogs, plants, giant trees, and holes tunnelled under roots that may or may not be the dens of animals with sharp teeth. It's a great way to get some exercise and fresh air together, and it's also often a great opportunity to strike up some interesting conversations about anything between earth and sky with the kids. The woods, or parks (like Vancouver's Stanley Park) are great places for hikes, but urban hikes can be great too, especially if you're in a city or town with some proper sidewalks and pedestrian areas.



3. Having a pick-nick
Meal- and snack-times are always a lot more fun if you eat outdoors. My kids love doing this on the beach, or just in a park, or just about anywhere else. Usually I try to pack snacks and food in as small a container as possible (so it's easy to bring along). I have lunch-box sized cooler that can pretty much hold everything I need for lunches for all of us if I put my mind to it.


The fabulous playground in Garden City Park, Richmond, BC.
4. Hanging out at a playground
This is another outdoor activity my kids love, and we have several favorite playgrounds that we head out to on a regular basis. When we're traveling, this is also a great activity since most towns do have playgrounds, whether it's in parks, near schools, or close to something like a rec center.

Heading to the slope in SkellefteƄ, Sweden.
5. Tobogganing
This is my kids' latest obsession. After our Christmas trip to Sweden where they really discovered the joys of this winter-sport, they have also enjoyed it here at home when we had a week-long spell of snow. Their preferred mode of "transport" down the slope is an inflatable tube. Guess it provides some nice cushioning, and it's also fairly light and easy to carry back up the slope.

1 comment:

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