There are so many distractions in our world today, some of them hitting very close to home. I am referring to the seemingly absence of “family time”. A time when parent(s) and child (ren) spend time together with no distractions. I mean really spending time together – interacting. These times are so important for a child’s development. These times don’t need to cost money. They don’t require the purchase of a new toy or game. There are so many free and fun things that you can do with your child.
Give your child your undivided attention if only for an hour day. Put away the cell phone. Turn off the TV. Turn off the game systems. Turn off the music. Turn off the noise. Get down on the floor and become a kid. Get at their level. Get out the play dough, the blocks, the puzzles, the cars or whatever toy your child decides upon. Build a fort with bed sheets and camp out. Gather some cardboard boxes and create. Children love empty boxes. Go outside and take a walk. How many different sounds do you hear? Go to the playground build in the sand and see how high you reach on the swings. Let your imaginations soar. The activity really doesn’t matter as long as you are with your child. There are no distractions allowed. Toys are toys and are replaceable. The time spent with your child is not.
Take a look at the list below. I challenge you to choose 1 suggestion from below per week and go check it out with your love ones. Your will not regret it and your child will cherish it.
1. Kerrywood Nature Centre - Explore the new outdoors instrument playground and bird watching areas. Take advantage of the hiking trails through the wooded areas.
2. Heritage Ranch - Visit the horses, sleigh/hay rides (fee involved) and walk the trails. Catch and release fishing pond.
3. Sunnybrook Farm - Feed the chickens and enjoy a wagon ride.
4. Rotary Park/McKenzie Trails - Book a picnic shelter for a family barbecue.
5. Kin Kanyon - Pack a picnic lunch then enjoy the playground and hiking trails. Sunset Cinema Series during the month of August.
6. Red Deer Public Library - Has a completely free membership for children and teen nights at The Mezz for older kids
7. Bower Ponds - Walk on the trails, enjoy the playground, rent a paddle boat.
8. Red Deer Spray Park - Grab you swim gear and flip flops for a hot summer day.
9. Red Deer Museum - Learn about the history and culture of Red Deer and surrounding area.
10. Fort Normandeau - See where it all began, the original gateway between Northern and Southern Alberta and the birthplace of Red Deer.
11. Explore the Waskasoo Creek Trail System.
12. Attend one of the many summer festivals held in Red Deer.
13. Red Deer Mountain Bike Park