Not everyone loves to spend hours and hours outside. This came as a shock to my rural dwelling husband back when we were dating. You can read more about that in our post 3 Steps to Becoming a Trail Family. If you have multiple children, you may have noticed this difference in personality even among them. Some kids are outdoors every chance they get. Others have to be dragged kicking and screaming (figuratively of course).
As a kid, I was somewhere in between. I loved swimming in our pool and playing in our backyard in the summer. However, I have never been a fan of the cold, snow, and wind other than to watch it all swirl mystifyingly outside the window. As soon as the summer sun had set, you only found me inside with a book on my lap and a hot drink in my hand.
So the question becomes, how do we get our kids that would always choose to sit inside reading rather than get some fresh air and have a little adventure? Now, don’t misunderstand me. When our children choose to read as a pastime, it is a wonderful thing. The problem becomes when a child never wants to be outside.
Stories have a way of inspiring us in ways that a lecture from mom or dad never could. So it’s time for some reverse psychology here. I recommend that you get a book for your book worm kid. This should be a story that will inspire the desire for an outdoor adventure. There are many possibilities, but I’d like to make a recommendation.
So the question becomes, how do we get our kids that would always choose to sit inside reading rather than get some fresh air and have a little adventure?
I recently read My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. This book received the Newbery Honor, the Hans Christian Andersen International Award, and was named an ALA Notable Book. I mention this only to show that this is a modern children’s classic and you as a parent can trust that it is timeless and wholesome.
Here is a link to purchase a copy from Amazon.com
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The main character Sam Gribley leaves home to live off the land on family farmland that has been abandoned for generations. The story is told from his perspective as he recounts his trials and triumphs years after the fact. He recounts his first bumbling nights in the wilderness, how he tames a falcon, the friendships he forms with the animals of the forest, and his survival of a hard winter in the Catskills.
I believe that this could be just the story to stimulate a desire to have a little outdoors adventure for your indoor child. Sam is a boy who is both a lover of books and of nature. In him, your child can see someone who puts the knowledge he finds in books into use as he fends for himself and his falcon, Frightful.
I believe that this could be just the story to stimulate a desire to have a little outdoors adventure for your indoor child.
After your child reads the story, or you read it together, I suggest planning a purposeful outing to mimic one of Sam’s adventures. Perhaps you can walk the trail and identify plants that Sam uses to survive. What animals or tracks can you find along the trail? You could hike a trail to a campground and learn to start a fire with flint and steel. Just be sure to make this a special time with this child and relate the adventure back to the enjoyment of the story. You could find your book worm coming along a lot more willingly in the future!
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