John Cowan - Long Weekend Activities

Publish Date
Thursday, 24 March 2016, 11:44AM
By John Cowan

Long weekends roll around very occasionally and, too often, they are over before we realise it. Could I urge you, if you are a parent, to plan to do some things that will build new exhibits in your child’s museum of memories. I am a bloke, so my list might be a bit skewed towards Dad-type activities but there’s no rule that says Mum’s can’t do these things as well:

  • Conquer some local peaks. The whole of New Zealand looks like it needs a good ironing with peaks and mountains all over it from tiddlers to whoppers so pick one that has the right amount of challenge and go for it. No one ever sat on a mountain top and wished they had stayed in bed.
  • Go eel fishing. The advantage of eel fishing is you don’t need flash gear, you nearly always catch some and kids really love the way eels make their mothers scream when they bring them home.
  • Camp on your  lawn. Just as much fun as travelling away but no camp fees and you can duck inside to your own loo if you have to.
  • Sleep marae style. Pull all your mattresses into your lounge and tell stories in the dark. Not super comfortable but at least you’re not in a pup tent on your lawn.
  • Make a waterslide out of garden plastic. A fantastic way to discover just how many stones and rocks you have in your back yard.  Expect to turn some of your lawn into a soapy swamp.
  • Catch a train with bikes and cycle back.
  • Make a kite. Youtube will tell you how to do it.  
  • Go dune sliding. Real estate signs make great sleds – did I say that?
  • Make a meal (a feast!) from scratch (plan, shop, cook, serve).

This long weekend could be one where you have genuinely great adventures with your kids. All it takes is a little planning , a little sacrifice and a sense that you really are a great parent.

Alternatively, you and your kids could spend all weekend playing video games. I doubt if they will be talking about that at your funeral.

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