There are so many reasons to travel:
To see family
To explore the natural world
To gain perspective
Travel also opens up my mind to the new, to change, to better myself, to realize, and see that there might be a different way to do things.
A friend of a friend, not a parent herself, taught me how to be a better mom.
Only she doesn’t even know it.
What is it with 3 and 1/2 year-olds and treasures? Is this a thing? Maybe its just our little guy, but lately all he can talk about is treasures, from finding treasures to receiving them as a reward. The good news? Anything can be a treasure. So as long as we call it such, anything can have the potential of being special to him. The bad news? Since everything has the potential to be a treasure, we can spend a lot of time waiting around for a lollygagging preschooler investigating every nook and cranny along our way.
Sometimes it all works out though, like during our visit to the arboretum this past weekend. As soon as Bergen was “released” from the jogging stroller to walk on his own, he requested the use of one of the bags we’d brought along for the dog’s (ahem) deposits. I credited him for his smart thinking! He declared that he was going to search for treasures, and then for the next mile or so, he picked up anything that happened to catch his eye. Rocks, sticks, leaves, blades of grass…they all went in the bag.
If you’re looking for a way to focus walks and hikes with your young children, you might just think about bringing a bag along for collecting! It’s easy, doesn’t require a whole lot of pre-planning, and Bergen was more than willing to toss the treasures back when our walk was complete.
While Bergen was focused on finding treasures, I had the chance to admire early spring in the arboretum. Yes, while the east coast is suffering through snow, ice, and bitter cold, we are experiencing abundant sunshine, flowers in bloom, warmer temperatures, and even (it seems to me) more active wildlife.
Have any more tips on holding kids’ interest while walking and hiking? We’d love more ideas!
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Places often remain wonderful in mind because I haven’t quite discovered all they have to offer. The mystery and unknown give me reason to come back and explore. Magic remains.
Seattle’s Discovery Park is one example. Maybe its because we usually fall into the same routine: Parking in the same area, hiking down the same stairs toward the beach, walking along the same stretch of shore. Still beautiful, but I always knew there was more.
For this visit, I switched it up and we saw several aspects of the park that I’ve never seen. And because of that I have an even greater appreciation for the place. Even better, as you might expect my two little adventurers were also along for the ride, and for one of them (Georgia, 2 months) this was her very first visit.
Environmental Learning Center
I’d heard that there was an indoor learning space here, but never visited myself. So to make sure we had a chance check it out, I made it our starting point. The center proved to be a great spot to get our nature juices flowing. The space is filled with books, puppets, and tons of other hands on materials for little ones to investigate before or after heading off on an outdoor adventure.
With a serious pineapple loving little boy on our hands, it would have been cruel of us not to visit the Dole Plantation during our recent visit to Oahu. Bergen (3-years old) cannot get enough of the stuff. In fact the other day when I ordered a pineapple-flavored soda at the Mexican restaurant we were dining at, he cried when the drink arrived as (we soon found out) he was expecting a plate of actual pineapple!
We planned for a morning visit, and thanks the resident alarm clocks surrounding our vacation rental, it wasn’t at all difficult to get ourselves there right as they opened their doors to at least try to avoid some of the inevitable crowds. The plantation is located in the town of Wahiawa, which in Oahu’s central valley, about a 40 minute drive from Honolulu, but only 10 minutes or so from our base in Haleiwa on the North Shore.
Truly trying to make the experience all about Bergen, we wasted no time dawdling around, and purchased our tickets for the pineapple train right away. Pineapples and trains: What more could a little boy ask for?
It doesn’t always seem like the logical choice, but these days we are working hard not to let the rain and lack of daylight stop us from our usual afternoon walks and adventures. After all, the boy needs to get his energy out, the dog’s gotta go, and we all need our exercise. I fully admit that it’s hard, and sometimes a struggle. I’m discouraged when I realize we are quickly kissing the sun goodbye at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. And yes, its sometimes a drag to spend all that time suiting up to protect against the cold and the rain. But the thing is, we can’t be limited to indoor play when its… Continue reading
Historical sites with Kids. Important, right? How about young children though? Should visiting still be a priority?
In planning our recent trip to Oahu, a visit to Pearl Harbor was a must. With so much to see in the world, we’re not always sure about return trips to far away places. I didn’t want to miss my opportunity to take in such a significant piece of American history just because my child may be on the younger side of benefiting from and understanding the experience.
With the honeymoon phase of quiet, kid-free mornings due to our little guy (now 3 years-old) being an unusually late sleeper now officially over, we are looking at the bright side.
Yes, he used to sleep until 9, 9:30, even 10 (talk about being spoiled) o’clock in the morning, and still manage (and need) a 2-hour nap in the afternoon. Now that he’s transitioned to a regular bed though, the late mornings are a distant memory. Maybe it’s his new found freedom of being able to get out on his own. Maybe it’s an age thing. Maybe the change of space changed his mindset. Regardless, we are adjusting.
As I was saying, the bright side is…more time for adventure! We can now mange a decent hike, a decent distance away from home, and still be able to return for nap time.
Franklin Falls near Snoqualmie Pass (about an hour’s drive from Seattle) is just on the verge of being too far for a morning excursion. As long as we get into gear early enough and pack a lunch to enjoy en route, it’s possible to accomplish.
On this particular early October day, we found the trail (2 miles out and back) to be filled with mushrooms. Vibrant colors and so many different varieties, thanks to the tiny fungi spotter, we probably stopped and viewed nearly every single specimen available that day.