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I have three small children ranging in age from 6-months-old to 4-years-old. Having three toddlers can get pretty crazy at times, but I absolutely love how closely my children are spaced. We have so much fun together as a family. Now that we are living in Alaska there are so many adventures we want to have in the two years we will be living here. I always get comments like, “You did that with your kids? Are you crazy!?” But we do get out and about with our little ones and I think it is important to do so. Here are five of my best tips for planning family adventures with kids.
Good Gear- Wether you are headed on an african safari or a glacier hike, having good gear for your whole family is key. No one wants to feel bogged down by ill fitting clothing or gear that isn’t doing its job. In our case, it might seem crazy to buy nice cold weather gear for our toddlers considering how fast they grow, but outdoor gear is designed to work best fitting a certain way. By investing in good gear we ensure that our kids stay a comfortable temperature while we are out and about. I know I get miserable when I am too cold or too hot, my kids do too!
Food- I am always over prepared with food. If you have ever come across a toddler who is hungry, you know it is a situation to be avoided at all costs. Always pack more than you think you will need and make sure that it is food they like. Kids can easily feel overwhelmed and uncomfortable in new places, a familiar water bottle and snack can go a long way in making them feel content.
Entertainment- Kids need a little more entertainment than adults do. If you are going on a hike, plan a game you can play while you walk. A long car ride? Make sure they have things to do. We recently went on a 6 hour glacier tour on a boat with our three kids. We knew the car ride there would be long, and there would be down time on the boat between animal sightings. We made sure to have small items they could play with or activities they could do to keep their hands busy.
Flexibility- Things might not go as planned. With kids you just have to be flexible. You might have intended to hike 3 miles into a waterfall and one mile in your 4-year-old gets blister and just can’t seem to work around it. Instead of making them feel like they let everyone down, find a way to turn it around so that everyone enjoys their experience.
Positive Attitude- Attitude is everything. If you are super stressed about the situation you are in, your kids will sense that and they will feed off of it. If you start your adventure planning on having a fantastic time being together, no matter what happens, they will sense that enthusiasm too.
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Our next big adventure? We are headed to Hawaii. We have plans to spend time with family in the sun and prolong our summer a little bit into the Alaska winter. Soaking up the sun, kayaking, snorkeling, just a few things we really want to expose our kids to while we are there.
What are your plans for your next family adventure?