By Leslie Lindsay
There is something about little girls and ponies. Seems every little girl wants one. Mine are no exception, especially my 4 year old. She loves them. She notices them everywhere we go, especially the white ones, “There’s my white horsey!” she tells me with pure joy and delight. So, when I learned there was a horse-themed day camp at a local attraction, I signed her up. Heck, I signed ’em both up.
For $20 a kid, they were able to tour a horse barn, learn about horse behavior, how to tack a horse, and ride one. (And I got two lovely hours of kid-free time!). A deal!
But it doesn’t just boil down to cost and free time. As a parent, I feel it’s super-important to give kiddos an outlet to explore interests and activities they are passionate about. Hopefully they will find the event benficial, too. Perhaps some day they will continue to love and respect horses and feel as though this early exposure made them feel more comfortable and confident around large animals. One can only hope.
Prior to all of this, I prepped them with the children’s movie, “Spirit,” (starring the voice of Matt Damon) all about the adventures of a young Cimmaron horse. We colored horse pictures, talked about horses, and even pulled out the horse-themed stickers.
Bringing children’s passions alive came at a very low cost–in time, effort, and money.
Interested in doing the same for your children? Here are a few tips:
- You already know what interests your kids, so why not take it one step further? Look for day camps, activities, and outings through your local park district, library, or community education
- Plan a weeklong emmersion experience in which you do everything you can possibly think of related to your kids’ interest(s). Think: musems, parks/playgrounds, zoos, behind-the-scene tours of restaurants, libraries, fire stations, police stations, etc.
- Throw in some arts and crafts that go along with your theme
- Themed-snacks you can make (and eat!) together
- Read books about your child’s interest/passion
- Make a poster
- Invent a game
- “Write” a story book, complete with illustrations
- Create a binder or sketchbook with notes, photos, ideas, etc. related to your theme
- Take ’em to a movie that relates to the theme
- Have fun!!
- Older kids can give a week-end presentation of all they learned to parents/grandparents/neighbors
Happy weekend and Happy Crafting!!