What Outdoor Activities will Teach my Kids
We spent an unforgettable day of outdoor adventure at one of the Acrobranch branches in Johannesburg recently (you know, the type of day which is ingrained in your memory bank forever, a day which makes your heart flutter in excitement just thinking about it) and it was during our relaxed stroll, a delicious cup of coffee in hand, before going home, that I was watching kids of all ages try their hand at the various age-appropriate obstacle courses. Watching these kids in action made me realise that although there are countless physical and gross motor benefits to these types of outdoor activities, there are some imperative life lessons to be learnt by these adventurous kids as well.
Life Lessons from Outdoor Activities
Life is a Balancing Act
As the kids were safely making their way along a balancing rope set up between 2 trees (in harnesses of course), I was reminded of the balancing act of life. Whether it is eating healthy (and yet indulging in a sweet treat every so often), whether it’s that elusive work-life balance we all strive for, or whether it is balancing school work with extra-curricular activities, we (and our kids) always have to find a balance.
Be Aware of your Surroundings and any Unknown Obstacles
Life has a habit of throwing unexpected curve balls at us (anybody heard of Murphy’s Law?) and we need to take the time to make contingency plans during those sunny periods in our lives in order to be prepared. We cannot simply become complacent when things are going well.
Similarly, the kids could slip and fall or miscalculate the distance of a jump on an obstacle course. Although in a safety harness, the kids were forced to calculate the risks associated with their movement forward, they had to constantly assess their surroundings and they had to think of what danger might be lurking ahead.
Although the future is unknown, the next obstacle a mystery, these kids displayed courage and bravery in their willingness to keep on moving forward. They were not scared of the danger involved should they slip and fall, they simply kept on going.
In life, we need to do the same: no matter what the day ahead has in store for us, we need to get up, get dressed, grab that cup of coffee and face the day head-on. We cannot go through life being scared. We have to be brave in order to get the most and the best out of life.
Trust your Instincts and Abilities
Walking along that balancing rope would have been scary: it is high, it is narrow and there are numerous risks involved. Bravery alone would not have made that walk possible, so the kids needed to trust in their own abilities in order to cross it – in order to place one foot securely and safely in front of the other. The kids also needed to trust their instincts: that although the obstacle course was scary, it was also achievable.
Whenever I have been faced with a difficult situation, I have always trusted my instincts and my own abilities and I am yet to regret that trust.
Although my little Bean his newborn brother are still too small to be able to take part in their own Acrobranch (minimum age is 3 years) adventure, I cannot wait to take them when they are older. The emotional and physical benefits associated with this family excursion are simply unbeatable.