Mother's Day Activity by Alice Kuipers
Thank you for having me on your gorgeous site today—I wanted to share with you an idea I had for an activity with kids that might just be perfect for any of you wanting to enjoy Mother’s Day with your children (seems to me that my mother’s days involve extra time with my kids, somehow!)
You know how sometimes an idea surprises you by how well it works out? Well, just a couple of weeks ago, as the weather was finally warming up here in Saskatoon, I had the idea that I’d like to go for a walk with my kids and two of their friends. I have four children under the age of nine, so I was trying to think of ways to make this walk exciting for them. Looking at it now, it seems like a daft notion—six kids, hiking!—but at the time, I was desperate to get outside after months of bitter winter. This is when the idea of making our own trail-mix bags popped into my head.
I took six zip-lock bags (you could use any sort of small bag) and seven or eight bowls. I cut out six squares of paper and grabbed some markers and stickers.
In the bowls, I put various trail-mix options. Peanuts, chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, raisins, hazelnuts, dried Saskatoon berries, cereal—basically whatever I happened to have on the shelf. The kids appeared, took a bag each, and loaded it up with whatever they chose. I thought they’d all want to put only chocolate chips in their bags, but they were all really happy to choose a selection for their hike.
Then they each took a square of paper to put their name on, and decorated it whichever way they wanted. It was one of those activities that just rocked! They loved making their own trail mix bag and suddenly everyone was ready for a walk with me. Normally going for a walk involves at least, well, all of my children whining, but suddenly, there they were with their boots on and their trail-mix bags in hand ready to hike.
We went to the beautiful Wanuskewin (wanuskewin.com/) and hiked—get this—three kms!!! Even my two-year-old walked all that way (except for about five minutes when his big brother carried him)!!! I told myself at the start of the hike to be prepared to carry someone myself, but no-one wanted that from me. I could walk, chat, enjoy the view. I also told myself not to stress if I ended up carrying bags of trail mix. I’d say I stopped at least thirty times to either carry someone’s trail mix or return it to them. But other than that minor hassle, the walk with my kids and their friends was the most lovely start to the warm weather. This Mother’s Day, unless it’s snowing(!), I’d like to try to repeat a walk with them—unlikely we’ll manage 3 kms again, but we’ll definitely (after a long brunch somewhere—I can dream, right?) try to be outdoors for some of the day and I think these trail-mix bags are going to be key to the day’s outcome. I’ll let you know on Instagram if works out—and please do share pictures with me if you and your family decide to try something like this @alicekuiperswritingprompts. Or if instead, you get to hang out with coffee and the newspaper while someone else takes the kids for a hike—maybe that would be even better!
Alice Kuipers recently released an early reader chapter book for young readers (approximately age 6-10). It's titled Polly Diamond and the Magic Book. Polly loves words. And she loves writing stories. So when a magic book appears on her doorstep that can make everything she writes happen in real life, Polly is certain all of her dreams are about to come true. But she soon learns that what you write and what you mean are not always the same thing! Funny and touching, this new chapter book series will entertain readers and inspire budding writers. It is available everywhere books are sold.