I know that I get dirty looks. My kids skateboard, and not leisurely, might I add. I insist that they pad up and wear helmets, because safety is non-negotiable. But if skateboarding seems too dangerous, start slowly. When your children really get a feel for adventure, they will take more steps to try new things in all aspects of their lives. If your child always chooses the same foods or snacks (let’s assume she digs carrots and apples), she is missing out on so many things that she doesn’t know exist (dried seaweed, anyone?). If your daughter always wants to participate in the same after-school activity (let’s say it’s gymnastics), she may not even realize what a good hip-hop dancer she is. Kids are always watching our every moves. That’s why it’s important to allow your children to see YOU taking chances as well. I don’t love to swim, but yesterday I jumped in the pool just to show my kids that I like to shake things up every once in a while.
Take this summer to try these five tips for your kiddos.
1. Make sure that you allow them to get really disgustingly dirty. Seriously, not just a bit of paint on a sleeve — that will not do. I’m referring to rolling in dirt and bonus points for mud. Yes, MUD.
2. Bring out the Slip n’ Slide. There is something so American about this toy that’s been around the block. But it’s still so fun. Run, slide, and land on some wet grass for good measure.
3. Build a sandcastle, with moats and everything. And then knock it down.
4. Bake a cake together, and then mix the batter with your hands. (Bonus points if it’s vegan and then you can EAT the batter!)
5. Get on a skateboard, fall off, and then get back on.