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Hanging with the Gang

I see this question a lot, "What kind of activities can I do with a kid that they'll enjoy?"

For me, the word activity has come to mean something designed specifically for children as in 'Activity Book'.  The question starts to answer itself when that word is removed to give, "What can the kid and I do that would be enjoyable?"

In my experience, kids really enjoy seeing, and participating in life, as it exists now, unabridged for their consumption.  So, my answer? They enjoy doing pretty much everything they're included in! Here's a list on answers I compiled the last time I heard this question.  Got any favorites you'd like to add?
  • Grocery shopping, putting them on them on the ground to help me with shopping, or just to explore as we go.
  • Running errands, the gang loves going pretty much anywhere to see new things. The pipe & tubing store was a big hit for example. 
  • Feed stores are fun. There's always something new going on. Where we used to live, they frequently had baby chickens, or ducks, or rabbits.
  • Library story times. Book store story times.
  • Coffee shops, especially with courtyards. The gang spreads out and figures out games of their own.
  • Playgrounds. If you wan to make friends, the homeschooling groups here in SF have playground meetups. I bet someone there might also. We also made play date cards for our kids in case they meet kids they'd like to play with again.
  • Adventure days: we pick something interesting, and go see it. We don't always see what we set out to see, but we always find interesting things. We went to C&H sugar near here. We couldn't get in, but we saw the factory, saw syrup trucks loading, met a cat, and explored town.
  • Hanging out at pubs. There's a pub here with tables in an alley where the gang runs back and forth playing games. We all get lunch, they play, I get to sip a beer. If friends come along, we get to hang out and talk. Oh, also, I've had some great conversations with the gang doing this.
  • Exploring downtown. The gang and I walk around checking out store fronts in neighborhoods we haven't visited before.
  • Fishing: The current five year-old here loves fishing. Whether we catch anything or not makes no difference.
  • Hiking: Park hiking and forest hiking are both big here.
  • Camping: The kids have a blast setting up camp, and hiking. We all go to sleep when it gets dark, it's the best sleep I've had since the kids arrived.
  • Wandering through college campuses: there are usually big grassy spots, libraries, art departments, and our favorite architecture buildings.

There's a corollary to the question above, "I had kids and now I really miss doing things I used to." I'll talk more about that soon.


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