Get those kids outside

You can’t even come close to putting a value on fishing with your kids. Or hunting with them. Those are a couple of the best ways you can spend quality time with your youngsters.

I took my kids fishing over Labor Day weekend, and we did a little scouting for deer this last Saturday. It was great to get two weekends in a row outdoors with the shorter members of my household. It made me wish we could spend every weekend outside.

Unfortunately, work, school, sports, and other things always seem to get in the way. You’ve just got to set aside some time for the important things, like spending some good, quality, one-on-one time with the youngsters.

You could watch a movie with them, play board games, or toss the baseball around. Those are fun things to do, too, but the kids don’t experience the same wonders and discoveries at home or in town as they do up in the hills.

When we went fishing over Labor Day, I tried to find some pikas for the boys. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any of the small, mouselike creatures. But they were excited about the prospect, and I got to tell them everything I know about the smallest member of the rabbit family. The boys looked under rocks and made peeping noises, trying to lure a pika or two out of hiding.

When we went scouting this past weekend, I tried to explain to the kids that they needed to be quiet if they wanted to see any deer or other wild game. They were a bit too excited to stay silent for long, but when they stopped constantly asking questions about everything they saw for a few minutes, they were rewarded for their stillness by a group of doe mule deer wandering through the meadow we were watching. As soon as the deer disappeared, the boys cranked up the questions again to a new intensity, but that was OK, too. I’d rather they ask questions about nature and not see any game than for them to be bored by their surroundings, but see all sorts of critters.

Be sure to get the kids outside this fall. It’s well worth the effort.