Child(ish) Reads: Adventuring Together

Adventuring Together: How to Create Connections and Make Lasting Memories with Your Kids
By Greta Eskridge
224 pages.
Audiobook is 3 hrs and 54 mins.
This book is published by a Christian publisher; however, the content is not faith specific.
Chapters include personal stories as well as idea lists for kid adventures.

I first learned about Adventuring Together from the Minimalist Moms Podcast. It was three months into COVID and I was trying to rebuild my girls’ summer plans, which now no longer included our public park and splashpad. What could we do to make sure our toddlers weren’t spending the entire summer bored and indoors?

As a kid who would spend a couple weeks each summer in Montana, I’ve always had hiking with my kids through the National Parks as a Top 5 #momgoal. Other adventure goals I have for my family are: learning to snowboard and surf together, taking my girls to concerts, doing yoga together, and traveling to a new destination every year for their birthday. While we are definitely not living The Bucket List Family life, this book made me realize that I could start small and start NOW, even with a pandemic.

This book takes family adventuring a little deeper, from just having fun ideas to building lifelong family bonds. Here are my takeaways from Adventuring Together:

Last week on the blog, we talked about making memories. Wanting to do active outdoor sports with your kid is great, but how and when do you get there? You can’t expect your child to physically endure a 5-mile hike with you if they’ve never done a single nature walk.

Eskridge tells her own story about wanting her kids to enjoy hiking and being outdoors well into their adulthood. That goal led her to start taking her kids out from the very beginning; taking hikes twice a week with other moms and their kids, ranging from newborns to age 5. So, if you have dreams of running or surfing or rock climbing with your family, think of ways you can start this passion early. This requires a bit of reflection and long-term parenting goal planning.

Start Slow
The most frequent recommendation from the book is to bring your kids to the local nature center. The trails are usually short and fairly flat, there are interactive exhibits and lots of wildlife. From my experience, my girls can usually hike for about 3/4 mile before they start slowing down and picking up rocks. Keep your adventures age-appropriate and short.

Be Intentional
The goal of adventuring is to experience something new and out of your daily routine. You’re exposing your kids to the world in small bites, but you are also building your relationship. Sharing experiences, challenging your child but also giving them security, creating positive memories; these can all be accomplished during an adventure. You are intentionally taking time to be with your kids. This is another thing you can start at a young age. Don’t wait until your kid is a teenager and is slightly embarrassed by you.

This will make the best story
Eskridge is very upfront when she says that not everything will be easy. As a parent, you are the one holding everyone’s stuff, carrying a kid when they get tired, and being responsible for ALL of the snacks. Sometimes you’re driving for hours. It could rain, it could snow, there could be bears. This is a huge turnoff, especially if you’re going off the beaten path with little kids.

But we can also flip this. It’s important for your kids to see the effort you’ve put into spending time with them. It teaches them the importance of planning ahead, being flexible, and having self-determination. (Yay, life lessons!) Not everything is easy and definitely not everything runs smoothly. No matter how tired you get or what catastrophe lies ahead, in hindsight, it’ll make the best story.

Get your kids to fill this new space with conversation. What are they seeing, smelling, feeling? Maybe you’re outside looking for bugs or frogs. Maybe you’re at a new restaurant and trying cuisine from a different country. Maybe you are traveling into the city and taking the metro for the first time. Engaging with your kid and them answering back about what they are experiencing helps activate their brains and senses, creating fuller, lasting memories.

Like our other Childish Reads, I don’t want to give away all the goods. The author has a whole chapter on incorporating books into adventuring, building empathy, and developing deeper connections and trust with your kids as they get older. This was a quick read and even if you’re not the biggest nature buff/camping fan/rugged outdoorsman, it’s a great motivator for getting out of the house and into some new experiences with your family.

The author is a homeschool mom and started an Adventure Club with other homeschooling moms. While the majority of modern millennials can’t go the home school route, Eskridge gives lots of ideas for incorporating adventuring into your family schedule. Most don’t require a lot of money or extreme physical exertion.

What are some of the fun adventures you want to do with your kids as they grow? Leave them in the comments!

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