Get Your Kids Outside!

Today was a good day.  It’s a spring day in mid-April and early this afternoon I had my kids in the woods for a few hours.  My little girl is 2 1/2 and my boy will be 5 next month.  I’ve been promising to show my son how to make a bow drill and today was the day we decided to head out to the tent and see it through.0328141823b

My daughter, being the plucky soul she is, decided to come along.  As things happen when two little ones go along any sense of having a plan went straight out the window.  We got to the camp and they both decided they were hungry, so we started a fire, got out the noodles, and made some soup.  I showed them how to strain water through a bandana and then boil it to make it safe to drink.  They played with sticks and water and whatever was on hand while I prepared the noodles.

I have friends who’s kids have never even seen a fire and don’t know how to act around it.  My kids know how to roast marshmallows and hotdogs and treat it with the respect it deserves.  I still keep a close eye on them around it of course, as my little girl is fearful clumsy at this point, but they both know not to get too close and know that it can burn.

My son has his own kit.  A camo backpack my wife picked up somewhere, a canteen and canteen cup, plastic spork, compass and whistle set, a small multi-tool that we spent some time with today showing him how to use it properly.  I also put some

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Ramen noodles and other snacks in there as well.  Now when we go out in the woods he knows to grab his own pack and it’s really nice that he has his own water and cup.

Later on this afternoon I went down and picked my daughter up a small canteen cup and a small water bottle for her Dora Backpack.  She was thrilled!  It’s awesome to see them both having such a good time in the woods!

I hope if you have kids that you’re getting them outside and showing them stuff like this.  Sometimes mine don’t want to go out at first, but once they’re there they usually don’t want to come in.

The funny thing is we never did get around to building that fire bow drill set.  Guess we’ll just have to build it the next time we get out there.

Questions?  Comments?

Sound off below!

-Jarhead Survivor

BTW

I realize you probably do get your kids outside, so what is it they like to do?

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6 comments… add one
  • Road Warrior May 12, 2014, 12:02 pm

    I have a hell of a time getting my 14-year-old torn away from anything with a glowing screen. But when I DO get him away, we have a great time. When we did the Urban Skills Challenge, all I heard about on the way home was what he’d learned, all the fun he had, what gear he wants to get next. Now I’m sure we’ll have fun getting a BOB together for him, but my wallet is already whimpering! Cause and effect, I guess.

    Reply
  • irishdutchuncle May 12, 2014, 12:39 pm

    our baby boy turns 29 at the end of the year, so he pretty much can go on his own adventures now…

    Reply
  • Pineslayer May 12, 2014, 7:19 pm

    My daughter whines a little when it is time to go “take the dogs for a walk”. All I have to do is put that wrist rocket in her hands and a pocket full of ammo, then all I hear is a distant “thump” as she takes aim at those pesky pine trees. Chocolate is a good bribery tool too :)

    Reply
  • Chuck Findlay May 13, 2014, 12:00 am

    My son is 23, has a girlfriend and a massively expensive computer with lots of games to keep him busy. I still spend time with him every few weeks, but I sure miss the days when he was a little tyke that loved spending time outdoors camping with dad. We still camp, but he only makes 1 camp outing per year.

    If you have little ones, make sure you enjoy the time with them as way too soon they will get interested in other things.

    Reply
  • j.r. guerra in s. tx. May 13, 2014, 6:26 am

    My kids are a tough sell too. They aren’t as outdoor oriented as I am, so taking them out isn’t easy. Its mainly a comfort level – our location is generally very hot and humid so I get it (Dad – why are we out here? :^)

    My son is 15 and is autistic – loud sounds affect him pretty badly, as do situations where spur of the moment decisions aren’t fun for him. Its a pity – he is strong as an ox and helps us with yard work when we can convince him any how.

    The girl – well, I have high hopes for her. She like to fish and asks us to go out to do so very often. I wish we lived closer to the coastline where fishing off a pier or surf fishing was closer for us. Weekend activities sort of hold us back. She also likes to shoot – she isn’t very accurate yet, but I’ve told her when I think she is responsible enough, I will hand down some of mine to her. She fired a 20 gauge pump during a dove hunt last year and loved it. Hiking – biking for her – not so much, unfortunately. But I’m working on that – the key is to make it fun, as you said above.

    Reply
  • Mary Jo Saylor May 13, 2014, 10:00 pm

    Gold stars for you in Parenting! You gave your kids the most precious gift, your TIME! Every tiny bit of training shows them “I can do this”, and that attitude is carried over into all of their activities.

    Reply

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