“What are we doing today, mom!?” my five year old asks nearly every morning. Not in that I’m-so-bored-please-entertain-me way. No, his question is with clear confidence that surely today will hold adventure. And very likely, mom has an idea up her sleeve!
I adore coming up with little adventures to share with the boys. In fact, no matter what we’re doing, I usually call it an adventure. Life is all how you look at it, right?
How to nurture a sense of adventure in children
It’s so easy to nurture conscious adventure-making in kids! They are so ready for the unexpected and delightful! I try to help the boys see our day through an “adventure lens.” Sure, sometimes the plan is just a trip to the grocery store, but I’ll tell the boys to keep their eyes peeled for interesting wildlife or cool vintage cars along the road.
Sometimes adventure calls for doing things out of the ordinary. Like riding bikes, but at an outdoor concert by the Connecticut River! A new twist, right!? Last weekend our family took the boys and their bikes down to the riverfront during a free summer concert. With the river flowing on one side, and music flowing on the other, bike riding was a grand adventure and an experience like we’d never had before!
When we got tired and the sun began to set, we rested behind the symphony with a picnic and enjoyed the rest of the music. The boys had a great time and are clamoring for lights for their bikes so they don’t have to stop riding when it grows dark.
Sometimes our adventures take us into the ordinary, where we help the boys see the everyday with fresh eyes. On Labor Day, we took a family walk through our capital city of Hartford, Connecticut. We’re often in and out of the city to various events and museums. On this day, however, we toured famous statues and buildings in the downtown area. Instead of having a specific event to rush off to, or a building to close ourselves into, we stayed outdoors for two hours, wandering through the city and reading signs and plaques.
We learned so much about the history of our state and capital! We admired fountains and architecture, gilded doorways and arches. Our oldest brought out his drawing journal to sketch the beautiful fountain and other landmarks along the way. Taking the journey through the city on foot allowed us to get a fresh perspective!
As we go on our daily adventures, we like to “narrate” our decision-making to the boys. We want them to see how we consciously use personal values to inform our choices. When we planned our river and concert bike ride, we talked through the benefits of bringing the bikes or simply walking. We let the boys chime in with their thoughts on these simpler decisions, and talk them through their reasoning. This helps to build their view of the activity as an adventure because they feel they helped to plan it. Every day brings a chance to nurture a sense of adventure in our children!
Consciously choosing adventure…
It’s easy for me to choose my comfortable prAna clothes to wear on our family adventures because they are just so versatile! See that soft-looking sweater hoodie I’m wearing by the river? The roomy sleeves worked great when helping the boys on and off their bikes. And then the organic cotton with kangaroo pocket kept me warm when the sun faded and we sat on the grass listening to some outdoor music. I didn’t even have to change or bring extra clothing!
Walking through the city on a September morning alternated between cool in the shade, but warm when we got walking. My prAna Penelope pullover was relaxed enough to pop over a tank top early on, then remove and tuck into my purse when I warmed up.
As our boys turn the corner from the little years into these gangly boyhood years, we’re focused on how we can model strong values to our children in all areas of life. Especially areas like spending time and money. Our children are growing up in a consumer age, and I want them to make conscious and informed choices about even things like what kinds of clothing we buy.
Beyond being comfortable and stylish, I appreciate that prAna values using sustainable materials to create lovely and lasting clothes. They also are committed to using sustainable practices that promote safety and a clean environment as well throughout the manufacturing process. Check out this video to see the ways prAna avoids being part of the “fast fashion” industry, and stands out as a clothing designer committed to the entire process of fashion:
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Happy shopping and bon voyage for your next adventure!
Thanks to prAna for sending clothing items and inspiration my way in exchange for this post about our fun family adventures in style! All opinions are my own.