There’s no doubt that the majority of the world’s population lives with technology that is readily available via our smart phones, tablets, computers, gaming consoles, televisions and goodness knows what’s next. It’s baffling to see toddlers operate tablets with ease when I have to read the manual to figure one out. Yes it’s the generation they are born into, but what kind of life are they experiencing beyond a screen? The answer is not much. Sure it’s quicker to entertain an irate child and hand them your phone to play with than to take time to calm them down. If I had children, I would likely do the same.
I am definitely not against technology and the things we can gain from it. But during the precious years of childhood, what memories are you making with them beyond a screen? It may seem like our lives have gotten busier and time shorter, but the reality is we have the same amount of time available as we always have. If you can pencil in a workout, why not pencil in one-on-one time with your child.
Both of my parents worked, but what they provided me and my siblings are memories that I will treasure for a lifetime. For instance, my father took us out on a commercial fishing boat and we got to watch him fish and as we got a bit older we were able to help him out. I felt immensely proud to be with my father; it made me feel like a grown up though I was about 8 years old. He also took the entire family out for pole fishing and weekend camping close to home.
My mother provided us with the experience of hand crafts. I fondly remember making homemade play-dough; it smelled so good I often asked her if I could eat it. On other occasions we got to make ice candles where you poured melted candle wax in a container that had ice in it. The ice would melt on contact with the wax and as it dried, there were crevices where the ice had been. We also had fun planting a vegetable garden and harvesting the fruits of our labor.
You don’t have to be artistic or specialized in anything to do activities with your children. If you’re at a loss of where to start, consider these ideas:
- Make kites or buy one and fly them
- Go build a snowman
- Try an easy hiking trail and bring snacks that you prepared together
- Beachcombing is awesome as you can find all sorts of treasures
- Check out an art exhibit or visit a museum
- Pick up a book from the library on birds and see which ones you can find
- Have a tea party
- Try star gazing
- Geocache – a worldwide treasure hunt
- Ask your child what they are curious about learning, you may be surprised to see what has sparked their interest
The ideas are absolutely endless! Making memories takes time and often, that’s all your children want is time spent with you.
Until next time, make some memories.