5 things I want my kids to experience

5 things I want my kids to experience
Being a kid happens only once in a lifetime. Here are some tips for an amazing childhood for kids aged 1 to 5

MANILA, Philippines – When you were younger, were you curious about the things around you? Did you collect shells and hold starfishes on beach trips? Have you climbed a tree and managed to make your way down by yourself? How about your kids?

These days, almost everything is at our fingertips, and it also holds true for today’s kids. They play interactive games, and educational apps allow them to learn and have fun while keeping them at the safety of your home. And while they enjoy these gadgets, at the back of your mind, you know that the memories that defined childhood were spent a great deal outdoors, and this is something that you would like your child to experience and enjoy as well.

Must-do list

Just as adults create bucket lists for themselves and aspire to try new things, your kids should also be given the chance to have incredible experiences while they’re still young.

What do you want them to experience? What should they try? Here are 5 activities that you can include in a must-do list that will let your kids have an amazing and memorable childhood: 

1. Travel

Thanks to travel fairs and yearlong airline seat sales, you can literally introduce your kid to a bigger world. The first time airplane ride is a thrilling experience for your little one, in addition to being a dynamic educational opportunity. He will begin to understand that there are places beyond what he knows and that it looks and feels different, and that people are all different too. Just make sure that he is comfortable, safety precautions are observed and watch out for possible airsickness.

2. Get up and close with animals

Your own parents most probably took you to Manila Zoo at least once when you were a kid. Don’t let your own kids miss out on getting up close and personal with animals he has only encountered in books. Going to the zoo is educational and fun. Some of the zoos today even have a petting zoo corner where your kids can interact with docile animals like sheep and rabbits. This kind of exposure teaches your children that we share the earth with other creatures and that it’s our responsibility to care for them too. Just make sure you pay attention to the establishment’s guidelines, have the kids stay a safe distance from enclosures and to not tease or taunt the animals.

Recommended establishments: Ark Avilon Zoo, Malabon Zoo, Zoobic Safari

3. Kiddie Hiking

Going on a hike introduces your child to a forest or mountain environment. For city-born kids, this is a treat. The good news is that there are tons of easy trails that kids can try. Just make sure you prepare for the trip well by bringing energy-boosting snacks, lots of water, and fresh change of clothing and a towel. Be mindful of their footwear – closed sneakers is a safer option, but just make sure that it doesn’t have slippery soles.

Recommended trails: Mt. Makiling, Subic Jest Camp

4. Camping

A bonfire is an enchanting thing to see for kids. Complete the experience with camping, roasting marshmallows or making S’mores and telling ghost stories or singing songs. They might even see interesting night critters like fireflies. But again, the key to a successful camping trip is in the preparation, so make sure you have all the essentials and that your kids know more or less what they will experience. Depending on how rustic you want the experience to be, there might be no proper bathrooms and food will be cooked with campfire – but the activities and adventures are limitless.

Recommended campsites: Munting Buhangin, Nasugbu, Batangas; Taal Lake camping grounds

5. Horseback Riding

Back then, trips to Baguio wouldn’t be complete without riding on horseback in Wright Park. Let your child experience the same fun that you had, bouncing on the back of a caramel colored horse with a braided mane. It’s also a pleasant way of appreciating your surroundings and enjoying time with family. Most horseback riding groups require a guide to ride with children, so just make sure that your kid is comfortably seated, his feet are inside the stirrups, he is holding the reins, and that he shouldn’t kick the horse!

Safety is always a top priority. You should still be mindful of activities or experiences that are appropriate for your child’s age, but not to the point of holding them back. If your kids eat well and get proper nutrition, and get enough exercise, they will have a healthy immune system and can enjoy the outdoors just fine.

Childhood is a peculiar time, in the sense that your child should be given enough freedom to explore and to do things by himself but he should still be watched closely because he still is a child. Make sure he is protected so that you have peace of mind as he goes through this fleeting, short time.

What are your must-do’s for your kids? Share it with us in the comments section below. – Rappler.com

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