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It’s early fall and anyone in the Pacific Northwest knows that means rain is just as likely as sun. From one day to the next (or, really, from one hour to the next) the weather can change. We love all sorts of adventure trips for families and it’s really hard during the rainy season to be cooped up inside. Basically every day Caleb will ask me where we’re going so I attempt to always have an answer for him.
Recently we had a sunny fall day, so Nate and I knew we needed to take the day to get our boys out of the house, enjoying nature. We loaded up the car and headed out to a new-to-us path where Caleb could spend time running and we could enjoy the sun.
Nate and I actually get asked quite often how we do so many fun family adventures with our boys when they’re so young and it makes us laugh because, to be honest, it took A LOT of learning before we got to this point. When Caleb was a baby, we rarely left the house at all because he was such a little screamer and adventure travel with babies is rough! It’s amazing how much changes in nearly four years and how “easy” it is to adventure with toddlers.
Tips for Adventuring with Kids
Remember What the Adults Enjoy
When you plan out adventures with kids, it’s always good to first think about what the adults enjoy. You may have visions of your whole family hiking together but, if the adults don’t like hiking, it’s just going to be a chore. Same goes for boating, swimming, snowshoeing… the list goes on and on. Think about the activities the adults will enjoy and make plans from there. Chances are if the adults are having fun the kids will be more likely to jump on board.
Think About Kids’ Attention Spans
After being selfish and thinking about the adults, it’s time to start thinking about the kids. What do THEY like? Kids are their own people so maybe they don’t like everything the adults like. That’s ok. Find a good compromise between what the kiddo will like and what the adults like. It’s also important that you think about the kids’ attention spans. Nate and I love going for long hikes but Caleb just can’t do that. We’ve settled on the fact that Caleb can go about an hour before he starts complaining that he’s “too sleepy to walk.” We either bring along the stroller/toddler carrier or make sure we’re only hiking for an hour maximum.
Use Strategic Timing
This is my biggest tip. Make sure your timing is EXTREMELY strategic. In our household sleep is imperative. Our almost four-year-old still sleeps for about an hour and a half every day. If our boys don’t get sleep, they go cray cray! We plan out our adventures so we’ll be at a place around noon for the boys to sleep – whether that’s someone’s house, our house, the car…. this leaves all the adventuring for before noon or after about two thirty. It can be hard to have such a large chunk of the day unusable but that’s what keeps the boys happy and happy boys mean happy adventures.
Always Bring Snacks
This is pretty self-explanatory. Snacks are life. I swear my boys get hangry at the turn of a switch the moment their tummies get a tiny bit empty. Hangry boys and adventures don’t go together. Snacks like granola bars, nuts, and whole wheat crackers are my favorite!
Two Words – Car Naps
I know I already mentioned strategic timing, but I have to talk about the car naps. These are a game changer, people. Since we like driving places that aren’t nearby, planning a drive during nap time is ideal. We tell the boys to sleep and have a treat ready for them when they wake up so they actually try falling asleep (you know, bribery). Then we go! Since Caleb is getting bigger, he needed a new car seat. Since he’s getting more wiggly, especially during car naps, we knew a great quality car seat was a must. We wanted to get a seat that will grow with him so we decided on the Maxi-Cosi Magellan™ Max 5-in-1 Convertible Car Seat. We love that the Magellan™ Max is a convertible car seat that can carry a child from birth to age 10 and goes all the way from 5lbs. to 120lbs. This will be the last car seat we have to get Caleb and, since I hate shopping, that makes me breathe a sigh of relief. Since car seat safety is one of my big passions, I love that the Magellan™ Max is equipped with Maxi-Cosi’s patented Adjustable Side Impact Protection. In fact, it’s the only convertible car seat with that! This creates a fit that’s customized for all stages of growth and makes sure that maximum protection is in place when it is in the proper position. All these fantastic safety features give me peace of mind while we’re driving to our adventures!
I hope these tips truly help you and give you the drive to get out there and adventure with your own kids. The memories you make are more than worth it!
What are your tips for getting out on adventures with kids?
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.