As a parent of two young children, there are lots of things that are difficult and intimidating. Aside from keeping them alive, keeping them occupied and leaving the house are pretty high up the list.
Dadventures is a book by double Olympic gold medallist rower and father-of three, Alex Gregory, that aims to be the ‘ultimate guide to ditching routine and having fun with your kids.’ It’s also interspersed with some lovely childhood recollections and also illustrations by Gregory’s own son, Jasper.
The book is divided into some really thoughtful and useful chapters, ranging from ‘after school adventures’ and ’30-minute activities’ to ‘full-day adventures’ and ‘overnight expeditions’.
Ever since I attended a lecture by Alastair Humphreys about Microadventures, I’ve become a little obsessed about how I can extend these mini expeditions to include my boys. Dadventures provides some brilliant ideas such as doing homework up a tree, reading books in woodlands and my personal favourite from the book, picking them up from school with a hot drink in a flask and drinking it in a homemade shelter on the way home. When I saw the idea of reading outside, I picked some of Arthur’s books that had forests in them and off we headed to our nearest woodland armed the books and a blanket. The woodland provided its own soundtrack of birdsong, creaking branches and holding moss and twigs in our hands brought the books to life in a way that they hadn’t before. Arthur would even stop me reading and claim to have seen some of the characters high up in the trees above me. It was such a lovely experience that I kicked myself for not thinking of it myself or doing it sooner.
We’d all like to pretend that we have endless amounts of time, ideas and money to take our kids on some grand adventures, but for the vast majority of us, that’s not the case. Dadventures provides dozens of ideas that can be done in those windows between the end of the school day and tea time or perhaps just before bedtime. I also liked the fact that the book takes into account cost and many of these adventures can be done with items we already have around the house or in the dark corners of the shed. There are treasure trails using flour, compasses assembled with a needle and leaf and shelters made from a simple plastic sheet.
This really is a great book and having enjoyed some of the shorter activities already, we can’t wait to try some of the others. I may or may not* have already ordered a plastic sheet to put in the car for an impromptu rainy day shelter too.
*I definitely have
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