When I was a little girl, my daddy would take me on adventures and to go exploring. It was a pre-cell phone era, so my mom never really knew when we’d be back, but, oh, the adventures we would have. Let me define Dad’s different understanding of “adventures” and “exploring.” When my daddy told me we were going on an “adventure” it could mean anything from going on a walk around the block to going to the bank to a going on a road trip to visit family.
Life as an Adventure
I carried his approach to life as an adventure into my own parenting. I’d take my little ones on “adventures” to the library, the bank, even on a walk up the street. Whenever I asked them if they wanted to go on an adventure, they’d be excited and run to get their shoes (until they were old enough to figure out that the bank was only cool because of the lollipops).
The Playground Tour
One of our favorite traditions I’ve adopted from my daddy is the Playground Tour. In the last week of summer, our family makes a Playground Tour plan. Each child gets to pick their favorite playground and usually mom and dad pick one, too. (I suggest going to at least 4-5 playgrounds.) I map it out, make sure everyone has sunscreen and water bottles and we head out for our adventure.
We spend about 10-15 minutes playing on each playground then head to the next one. I suppose it could be seen as a progressive playground experience of sorts. But we’ve added something special. We usually end our time with lunch if we’re out for the morning or ice cream if we’re out for the afternoon as a last hurrah of summer.
If you’d like some variation ideas: you could also do a swimming pool tour (going to a different swimming pool each day for a week), an Ice Cream Shop Tour (trying different Ice Cream Shops each day for a week), or a Fast Food Progressive Dinner (another one of our favorites – adapted from being Youth Ministry – i.e. burgers at Burger King, fries at McDonalds, Frosty’s at Wendy’s).
Why am I giving you these fun ideas at the beginning of the summer? This way you have a couple of months to plan out your Playground Tour before you do it! Pay attention to your children’s favorite playgrounds throughout the summer and make a plan (like you would plan a little getaway trip). I bet you’ll all love it!
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10
How can you help your children experience life as an adventure today?