My children’s childhood experience is already so different than my own. With siblings 12, 15 and 16 years older than me I grew up virtually an only-child, with all the attention of my parents and a lot of free time to play by myself. My own children, in contrast, are each 3.5 years apart and long for their own space (my daughters share a room) and one-on-one time with us.
That’s not the only difference. When I was a kid, we built a house across the street from the park (my parent’s say that was a factor in their choice, I think they just liked having an open field as a view!) Whatever the motive, that park was where I spent a significant part of my childhood, along with the entire neighborhood where I’d bike for hours. As many of us can recall, we only had to come home once the street lights came on back then.
If you too have realized a huge difference between your childhood and that of your children, watch this powerful video from Nature Valley. I know, videos are everywhere and we’re all busy (I don’t watch the majority that come across my Facebook feed) but I encourage you to stop for a moment and watch this one (it’s that powerful!)
Wow. What did you think after watching it? I had a mix of emotions. First, it made me miss my dad terribly (he passed away last summer) as I reminisced about all our summers as a kid. We went camping every summer and those are some of my best childhood memories with my parents. Next, the video was like a kick to the stomach thinking about how much outdoor activities my kids are missing out on because they’re inside behind a screen. My mom friends and I often commiserate on this topic, yet we can’t seem to get the focus or initiative to do something about it.
The #RediscoverNature campaign from Nature Valley aims to help. After watching the video with your family, it’s the perfect time to have a conversation about this summer. What are some outdoor activities you can do together as a family, or what are some things the kids really want to do this summer outdoors. Download and print your own Summer Bucket List and then fill it in as a family. Looking for inspiration? The NatureValley.ca website has activity ideas and even a park finder in your area (I love this because of #2 on our list!)
Our Summer Bucket List covers items I can manage. We had hoped to go camping (for the first time as a family of five!) a week ago but the forest fires in Saskatchewan made the air quality too poor. So, we’re going to switch it up and aim to sleep in a tent, whether that happens at a campsite or in our backyard this summer! We have a local beach that we haven’t been to since we moved back to Regina this year, and I’ve been wanting to do a city park tour with the kids that we started last summer. If you live in a larger center, you should try it too! Simply ask friends for their favorite neighbourhood park, or go for a drive. If you see a park that looks fun, plant yourselves there for a few hours (I recommend a coffee/water and good book for mom!)
Here’s your own Summer Bucket List to get started (right click to save and print)!