Creative Ways to Connect with your Child: The Sunset Hike
I’ve been ill as of recent, though I tend to focus on the upbeat, uplifting. But it seems as though my innards aren’t cooperating, so to get things moving, I’ve got to keep moving , though this can be tricky as a writer/artist: The canvas/laptop won’t follow me around! So after dinner, I started walking. I took the dog at first just a short ways away. I felt better, the dog was happy and life was good.
But as things progressed, I decided maybe someone should come along in case I fall (I was pretty convinced of my mortality by this time), and I carried my phone. My daughter shared the next walk-along with the dog. We chatted about school mainly, and the sun was setting, so I snapped a few pics along the way with my phone. She was happy, the dog was happy and thus was born : The Sunset Hike.
So every night, after dinner, we take the dog out just in time to catch the sunset. Sometimes we walk longer distances, sometimes shorter. We even had a few friends join us. And I take a picture of the sky. Every walk is different, every sunset has been incredible, and we chat along the way about the day, about the clouds or the things we see. The weather is cooler now, the love bugs have departed and the yellow flies vanished. We always have dinner together, but these walks are extra stolen moments of time that I have to connect with my kids without the distractions of the electronic world.
Celebrate the magic and beauty of the sunset hour with your own family, connect with your kids, make the dog happy and get fit all at the same time!
TAKING A SUNSET WALK WITH YOUR KIDS:
- Make sure first that you are in a place that is safe to walk at night, if not drive to a friendly park (they always close at sunset, so you’ll be leaving then).
- Take it slow. Head out before sunset and aim to return as the sun is setting. You can always add distance later, leaving earlier.
- Take the dog (and let them walk it- if they can!)
- Bring a camera for you or your child to record the “event.” And any other interesting things along the way. You can always compare sunsets at the end of the week.
- Shut off all other devices- No texting, FB checking, etc, and you can Instagram those beautiful photos when you return home!
- Walk with your senses: (you can ask the kids these questions too)what does the air smell like? Can you catch a whiff of different smells? What sounds to you hear? Birds, owls, kids playing, sirens, cars? What do you see? Bugs? Little flowers?
- Ask them how was their day at school? What did they eat for lunch? What did they do in…..class? Always use open ended questions, not ones that require a simple yes or no answer. Then ask them to describe it to you as well. That gets their creative writing juices going. Discuss the sunset and the clouds (or lack of them).
- Sometimes kids like to talk, sometimes not. Don’t force it. Companionable silence is good too.
- Have fun.
Check out our sunset pics on Instagram: www.instagram.com/theadventuresofmom
Canoeing the Withlacoochee River
Adventures at the Florida Aquarium