6 ways to keep it REAL with your kids in Powell River
It is the simple things in life that are important right? Lately, we have all heard how the busy life has become so glorified, especially to parents of young children. There is just too much “STUFF” around––too much technology, too much screen time, too many organized activities and too many toys! Seriously, what is the deal with all this materialism and especially geared towards the young ages! I recently saw an ad displaying Will Ferrel’s face yelling:
“I just thought of a brand new social network for kids… Are you ready for it? It’s called OUTSIDE!!”
Reading that really struck a cord with me. If anyone knows me, they know that I am no material girl, and I want the same for my child. I really feel that a child’s imagination is enhanced when they have less toys to play with and I really believe that children’s social skills and attention spans are stronger with less technology or screen time. The list can go on about the benefits of why kids will benefit with less materialism.
In this article I wanted to share some recent experiences and activities I have had with children this summer that involved nothing but simplicity. And it all took place literally right outside my door in and around Powell River–in my opinion, one of the greatest playgrounds around–for the mind, body and soul! The best part is, that if you are willing, it doesn’t cost much and it is for everyone to share. 🙂
Blueberry picking at local blueberry farms
…in the rain. Hours of enjoyment picking in the fields, running, and playing around the farm.
Materials: Rain gear and a bucket.
Frequenting a local beach
The closest beach could be a five minute walk and the farthest, maybe a 15 minute drive? Parking is never a problem and our beaches are easily accessible. The kids spend hours running in and out of the water, jumping waves, and digging holes in the sand. I usually bring a bucket and shovel for good measure, but they don’t really get much use!
I must also mention the one time this summer that Willingdon Beach was getting prepped for the Sea Fair beach volleyball tournament. A few days prior, there was a HUGE sand pile just hanging around on the beach court. Kids + huge sand pile––need I say more! Hours of imagination and creativity, and healthy exercise at the beach!
Visiting a friend or relative that lives near or on the beach front
Chances are if you live in PR, you know someone with a home on the beach. I spent one afternoon out front with my son and nephew and all we had was a set of binoculars. The kids were given an impressive show by a seal sunning itself on the rock only about 20 feet in front of them.
The kids went on chatting with the seal and trying to interact with it. Later they explored the beach finding all sorts of neat marine life including crabs, starfish, and jelly fish. Real wildlife in its natural habitat. Who needs an overcrowded aquarium when you have this?!
Too bad we did not catch a day when the orcas, porpoises, or humpbacks were out…but the all the beautiful boats passing by made for good scenery, too. Hours of playtime.
Trip to Savary Island
We had friends in town and ventured out to Savary on a whim, forgetting any sort of beach toy or accessory. To our surprise, the kids discovered an entire playfort built only by driftwood and had a blast collecting more driftwood to add to it, as well as using their imaginations to play in it for hours. Can’t forget the running in and out of the water as the tide came in, too.
Exploring local trails
One day while walking the Beach trail, we stepped off the regular path and onto the rocky beach below. While exploring, we discovered a Zunga tied to an overgrown tree, as well as fallen trees that made for a great fort, as well as whatever else my child decided to use it for the hour we were there.
Cabins up Powell Lake
The kids spent some time up the lake this summer at friends’ float cabins. Yes–it is a luxury to be able to head up the lake in your boat, but the cabins themselves are quite simple, yet the scenery is spectacular. While at the cabin, I noticed the best enjoyment for our 3-year-old boys were the following: jumping into buckets or coolers filled with water, and catching frogs with little nets. Simple. Simple. Simple.
Materials: A bucket and a net
So there you have it. Proof that having less really is more for your children. The big ticket items that us parents usually purchase for our children (like the trampoline that I caved and bought this summer), fail to bring out the long term excitement that the great outdoors do. To me, seeing the pure joy and fun these kids were having over and over in these simple outdoor settings is the real thing. And I, for one, feel a lot better about being the simpleton parent that I am! Ah, a breath of fresh air!
What a fantastic summer we had this year in Powell River.
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