Welcome to the April 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Pastimes
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and wisdom about family pastimes.
The weather is warmer, and it is time to think about taking a break. As you plan your family vacation, consider hitting the trails with your kids. Young or old, experienced or not, camping is a tradition that everyone can share. Check out these reasons why you should consider camping with your kids.
- Connection. If you want to get close to your kids, try cramming the entire family into a tent. All joking aside, camping gives an opportunity for connection that is different from anything else. The distractions of the outside world fade away, if only temporarily, and you can really focus on slowing down and being mindful.
- Memories. The very things that seem like disasters during family vacations are the same ones you will be laughing about for years to come. Spend a little time camping with your kids, and when they are older, you can look back on those times with fondness. Don’t forget to take a camera to capture all of your memories.
- Health. Staying in the Great Outdoors allows our bodies to reset. We can reset our sleep cycles as we live by the rising and setting of the Sun. We can breathe fresh, clean air, away from the off-gasing found in building materials. Outdoor activities tend toward exercise, whether they are hiking, fishing, or just exploring. At the same time, you will get a healthy dose of vitamin D.
- Getting Back to Nature. In the hustle and bustle of living, we often lose contact with nature. Camping allows us a slower pace and a reminder of where we came from. Help your children develop an appreciation for Mother Earth by learning how to clean up after themselves and learning the importance of taking care of our environment. At the same time, they will learn valuable life skills. If your older kids think camping is boring, try calling it Zombie Apocalypse Training. Those survival skills just might come in handy some day.
- Affordability. Vacations can be expensive, especially when you throw in an entire family. Camping, on the other hand, can be done for as little as you like. With a minimum of gear, and food you bring from home or catch yourself, you won’t break the bank to spend a little relaxation time with your kids.
- Variability. Camping can provide a multitude of experiences. Check out different areas of the country, from the mountains to the plains, forests to the deserts. Camp for as long or as short as you want. You can take a week-long excursion or go just for a night. Custom tailor your experience for the occasion.
- Family Legacy. Throughout human history, we have passed down our family stories through storytelling. Share some of your childhood memories and family tales around the campfire. While you are at it, make some new stories to share.
- Anyone Can Do It. You don’t have to be an outdoor aficionado to go camping. Anyone can do it. Whether you are experienced or have never gone before, camping is accessible to everyone.
Does your family go camping? What is your favorite part of the experience?
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- 8 Reasons to Go Camping with Your Kids — The weather is warmer, and it is time to think about taking a break. As you plan your family vacation, Mandy of Living Peacefully with Children, guest posting at Natural Parents Network, explains why you should consider hitting the trails with your kids.
- Crafty Cohorts — Kellie at Our Mindful Life enjoys crafting with her kids, and the skills they are learning.
- 10 Hobbies For Families With Young Children — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama knows that finding hobbies families can do together (with young children in tow) isn’t always the easiest of feats. She has compiled a list of 10 family friendly hobbies that children of all ages can enjoy and that won’t break the bank!
- Helping Himawari — Sophelia’s family at Sophelia’s Adventures in Japan share a passion for helping when a dog is abandoned at the nearby elementary school.
- The ‘Art’ of Having Fun — Marija Smits shares some thoughts on family art and fun.
- How we made our own Family Day — Lauren at Hobo Mama shares how her family celebrates the best day of the week, a chance for connection and adventure and endless possibilities: Family Day!
- Our Family Hobby — Survivor talks about how animal husbandry has become her family’s favorite hobby at Surviving Mexico Adventures and Disasters.
- Sowing the Seeds of Passions — Christy at Eco Journey In The Burbs wonders if her interests, and her husband’s, will shape her children’s passions as they mature.
- Harry Potter Potions Party — One of the best activities Dionna at Code Name: Mama has ever done with her family has been a Harry Potter Potions Party. She is sharing the resources she used to create their potion recipes, the ingredients and tools they experimented with, and the recipes themselves. Feel free to use and adapt for your own budding wizards and witches!
- Pastimes Have Passed Me By — Kati at The Best Things takes a new perspective on projects that never get done.
- Food as a cultural experience for preschoolers — Nathalie at Kampuchea Crossings finds that food is a good way to engage her preschoolers on a journey of cultural discovery.
- 10 Reasons I Love Thrifting With My Children — That Mama Gretchen has always enjoyed shopping, but with a growing family she’s become more frugal and thus, her little ones are now in tow on her thrift store adventures.
- Pastime with Family vs Family Pastime — You can share lots of pastimes with your family, but Jorje of Momma Jorje discovered a family pastime was much more pleasant for sharing.