Overview of Outdoor Parents, Outdoor Kids
Mr. Buchanan surprised me in the beginning by using humor to get the point across that when you have children, you are not handicapped, but just put into a slower gear. Your activities change a bit for a season, but there are many ways to involve your children as they grow, so that you can enjoy the outdoor activities that you did before your children arrived. He goes through nine different outdoor activities and tells you how you can include your children in the pastimes you enjoyed in younger days. Many products are suggested and throughout the book and real to life scenarios are given. You will often find yourself nodding in agreement with his stories or having an “ah ha” moment as well as chuckling when a story from your past experience comes to mind.
Helpful Portions of the Book
Each sport is broken down into stages. Advice is given on how to stay involved with very young children, toddlers, and older children who can participate. It is obvious that the author has taken his family on these outings and used the products he mentions. I especially liked that he reviewed some products in his book so you would be familiar with them and their features if you were to go purchase them. No activity was sugar-coated to make it seem like the ideal and perfect outing, to leave you feeling inadequate when your family attempt at it didn’t go so well. Both pros and cons of each are mentioned and suggestions given on how to deal with them.
Personal Opinion of the Book
I had expected to find a checklist of what to take along on each outing and then tell you how to set up a tent or cast a fishing pole, but although there were some lists carefully incorporated into the storyline, you wouldn’t be made to feel like you couldn’t undertake the activity if you didn’t have every item mentioned. I did find some of the history of different sports to be a bit more than I wanted to know, but it didn’t matter if I just skipped that section. It is was also nice that you can skip around to different sections of the book, not needing to read in sequence. For example, I didn’t spend much time reading about skiing since I live in Arkansas and it is June!
I wish I would have read this book when my teens were small so I wouldn’t have come up with the excuses that I had to never participate in some of the activities. I used the children as an excuse to get lazy. We have started biking and running as a family, but there are so many other things to do. I still have young children also, but it’s been years since we’ve camped, fished, hiked, and canoed and know that there is absolutely no reason for it. I now have a goal to participate in at least two of these activities as a family this summer. No excuses!