If you didn't know that Ed and I are geeks, you will know it now. We are proudly dragging our kids in our geeky footsteps. If you're a bit geeky too, you may like our idea. This year, as a family we've been going on a Giver Park Quest.
We love the safe, commercial free programming on public television stations and websites (Did you miss our list of free, safe, smart online games? Find it here.) Our provincial public broadcaster, TVO (along with Sinking Ship Productions) produces a kid's show that has our kids riveted.
It's called Giver.
Giver is a kids "reality" style show where a group of kids help to design and renovate their local playground. They come up with themes and they help with just about every (reasonable) aspect of the build. The show follows the kids through the whole process, from the idea to the unveiling for their community. Our kids love everything about the show (and they like the online Giver games, too!)
We were thrilled to learn that many of the completed Giver parks are within a short drive of our place. It inspired our geeky idea: let's try to see how many of these parks we can visit!
First we watch the show online (you can find the episodes here).
Then we go hunting for the park.
Then we play.
So far we've visited:
The Hawkesville Sandbox Park
The Goderich Butterfly Park
The Guelph Circus Park
It's been a blast for the kids. They get so hyped watching the show and trying to decide what they'll play on first. It such an easy, cost-free way to enjoy an afternoon together. Some of the parks are further than others, but we've been timing our visits to coincide with out-of-town visiting or errands we are doing anyway.
This weekend we hope to visit the Hamilton Future Park and the Hamilton Science Park. (It will be a reward for the kids when we drag them to do some stuff we want to do - that they'd rather not.)
If you live in Southern Ontario, this may be a fun adventure idea for you and your family. If you don't, the show is still pretty great.
Maybe there's a similar sort of Quest you can go on as a family?
- Are there streets in your area with your family's names? See if you can find them and take a photo of your family by the sign.
- Try out Geocaching. A modern day treasure hunt! We're planning to try some of this soon.
- How many miles of your local bike trail can you cover? Map your progress.
- Have you played at every park in your neighbourhood? In your city? Check off the one's you've been to and plan for the one you'll visit next.