‘Tis the season when the stores will be packed and the streets will be filled with hopeful shoppers in search of that perfect gift. With the release of the new video game consoles that are guaranteed to lock your kids (and some adults) into near comatose states as they stare at the screens while only taking breaks for school and maybe sleep, here are a few alternative ideas of bonding ideas rather than purchased possessions.
Anyone who has ever been in scouts will likely remember when all the packs come together at some camp located near a lake. One of the highlights of the weekend is always the canoe races. Canoes can be rented for cheap and provide for joyful and interesting times. The venerable Old Town canoe has floated many a youngster over the years. A long paddle on the water is sure to brighten any kid’s outlook, and for good measure give the canoe a rock side-to-side a couple of times.
Another event that is sure to please involves some raw chicken. I know, your face is probably squinting with your nose all crinkled up as you read that sentence. But if you put a little bit on a hook and toss it in the water your kid will be amazed by what comes for it. For even more fun, go at night and set up a bonfire. When the rod tip gets hit with a hard thump and the strange creature with the flat mouth and tentacles stretching from its face is surfaced, there is no doubt that both you and your kid will examine the catfish with a sense of wonderment.
While the fire is burning, we shouldn’t let it go waste. A staple of any good trip that includes a fire includes chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows. I know somehow when those three ingredients are combined over an open flame the woods fairy sprinkles some type of pixie dust overtop and it becomes a necessary food group. Heck, even if the fish do not immediately bite the s’mores will be fine in passing the time until they do.
Near many of the lakes, rivers and streams you can find a good field. After the farmers have cultivated the land and turned the soil another magical thing happens. In fact, it has almost become a lost art. At some point and time in a child’s life they all wish to visit the past. Not the past as in yesterday or even last year, but of times long, long ago. Amateur archaeologists is what we used to call ourselves. We would dream of digging and finding the next great monstrous dinosaur. Of course we never found one, but we did find other artifacts of equal intrigue, at least for a kid. There were many days we spent arrowhead hunting. Sometimes we would find finely chiseled rock that left no doubt to its purpose. Other times, we were just wishful and accepted that the small triangular shaped granite with a sharp side may be one. Either way it ended up in our small tote bag or pocket as an addition to the collection.
There are numerous other activities that can be spent, but the key is to spend those moments together. As each seems like a product of time in our hurried lives, they are but a just a moment in our overall life. However, they can be a moment remembered and cherished forever.