Let me start by saying that having young children is awesome. Every day seems to be filled with new adventures in parenting, some of which are obviously more fun than others.
If you’re like me, you spend an exorbitant amount of time planning fun things to do with your kids. The other day, I was sitting around trying to plan some new adventures for my son, PJ, for later this summer. I repeatedly found myself coming up with ideas that were just slightly out of PJ’s wheelhouse for age, height or maturity. I thought this would be a great opportunity to talk about all of the things I can’t wait to do with PJ as he continues to grow and develop into the little man of awesomeness that he is.
What follows is a list, in no particular order, of some of the activities I can’t wait to do with PJ. This is by no means my complete list, but I encourage you to use this list of activities as a starting point for your own “plan” for future fun with your little ones.
1. Watch movies better suited for a more mature audience. I’m not talking about waiting until he’s old enough to watch The Outsiders, which is my favorite movie of all time. I’m talking about him being “mature enough” to watch some of the great movies that I know he will absolutely love. The reason I say “mature enough” and not “old enough” is because I really believe kids are ready when they’re ready, and it’s up to the parents to be able to decide when their kids are ready for different types of entertainment. I believe my son is almost ready for Star Wars, but I think a little more time wouldn’t hurt. Below is a short list of movies I can’t wait to watch with PJ. This list could be 10 times this long, but I’ll spare you from having to scroll so far to get to #2.
a. Star Wars
c. Iron Man
d. Super Man
g. Indiana Jones
h. All of the Harry Potter movies
i. Jurassic Park
k. The NeverEnding Story
l. Swiss Family Robinson
2. Go on bike rides. I can’t wait to be able to get on our bikes and just ride wherever we want to go. My wife and I have bikes, and there was a time when we really used to love riding them. Unfortunately, sometimes life gets in the way and you don’t find or make time for the things you used to enjoy. I am hopeful that we will once again get into bike riding regularly as soon as PJ is able to ride a two wheeler bike instead of his tricked out trike.
3. Play Sports. I really look forward to the day when I can lace up some hockey skates and shoot pucks around with PJ. We already play hockey with small plastic sticks and mini nets in the basement, but I really want to be able to get out on the ice with him and really pass a puck around. Next summer he wants to play baseball, and I am already looking forward to that.
4. Go hiking in the mountains. My wife and I have hiked trails in Glacier National Park, as well as the Grand Tetons. There is nothing better than being up on the side of a mountain with nobody else around, except maybe a mountain goat or a marmot. This is something we have always planned to share with PJ when he is the appropriate size and age. We even considered going hiking with him in a child carrier backpack, but we decided to wait until he could hike on his own. I think my back is probably grateful that we waited. It will be worth the wait to see his eyes light up when he sees the mountains. I know my wife and I both look forward to that very much.
5. Go to Disney World. Believe it or not, my wife and I went on our honeymoon to Orlando, FL, and we spent a whole week going to every single amusement park down there. We had a BLAST, and I can’t wait for the day when we get to bring PJ down there to experience all of the magic for himself.
6. Drive Go-Karts. Yes, we already drive go-karts together, except he needs to sit in the seat next to me and ride instead of drive. I can’t wait until he is old enough to drive one all by himself, so we can have a serious Daddy vs PJ race for family bragging rights. Knowing how competitive he already is, you can bet it will be a heated race. I’m already working on my trash talk suitable for children, because I can guarantee you he will be talking trash, and I will need to be ready with my come backs. Unfortunately this race will need to wait for a couple years.
7. Go Pheasant Hunting. Without the ‘h’ this activity takes on a whole different meaning. Since the age of 6, I have always gone pheasant hunting in October with my dad and my uncles. We started out hunting in Iowa every year, but as the pheasant hunting declined in Iowa we switched to North Dakota. Even to this day, I can remember some of the good times I had on hunting trips as a kid. Even though I couldn’t carry and shoot a shotgun until I was 12, I still had a great time walking the fields and being completely tortured by my uncles. I haven’t been able to go hunting regularly for quite a few years now, but I hope to continue this tradition with PJ when he’s old enough.
8. Target shooting with a BB gun. I received my first BB gun at a pretty young age and loved shooting tin cans in the garage. I am a firm believer in teaching kids about gun safety at an early age. A BB gun is a great first step in learning to be responsible with any kind of gun.
9. Water Parks. I can’t wait until PJ is old enough, and swims well enough, to go to some of the big water parks. I would love for us to be able to take him to Wisconsin Dells for a vacation. I know he will LOVE water parks, and we will have fun too.
10. Go Camping. I grew up camping, fishing and hiking, and I can’t wait to do the same things with PJ. I am getting ready to take him camping over the 4th of July next week, and I can barely contain my excitement. We are going to roast marshmallows, make camper pies, cook hot dogs and beans over an open fire, and generally eat the crap food I grew up eating when I went camping. I’m sure we will make up some of our own silly campfire songs and stories, all the while swatting at mosquitoes and cursing them in kid friendly terms. I am sure that this first camping experience for PJ will spawn a blog post of it’s own. So Stay Tuned…
As you can see, even though we are constantly enjoying everything we do with PJ, there are still plenty of other activities to look forward to. And…since so many of these activities will happen at different ages, we will never have a year without doing something completely EPIC!
Plan your fun today, and make it EPIC!!!