Weekends are super precious for the Hinkle Family. With Dana Sue Hinkle homeschooling all five of their kids, and Adam Hinkle working full time to run Creative QT, quality family time can be hard to come by. That's why the Hinkles love to be intentional and Make Time Together with days out to play and make memories. Here they tell us about their favorite days out with their kids. Learn more about the heart behind Creative QT here.
1. Outdoor Exploring
We love making the most of our beautiful local surroundings. It can be so hard to get away from all of the distractions, especially those screen related. We try to have screen free days every few weekends where we leave the phones at home and go for a hike. It's not easy but it's so worth it!
You'd be amazed at the learning that happens during a simple walk in the woods. You'd be far less surprised at the amount of 'I'm tired', 'how long are we walking for', and 'can we stop for a snack yet' type questions! Let's be truthful, we'd say it's probably 50/50 in terms of laughter and moaning, but boy oh boy is the laughter worth it!!
2. Hit Up a Local Playground
Sometimes we forget the most simple types of play activities- playgrounds! There's nothing like exploring a new one, either raid a local school or just search on google maps and you'll be sure to find somewhere you haven't been before.
We love that all five of our kids will find something that they enjoy at the playground... oh and the biggest kid of the family normally gets hands on too!
3. Go Nuts at a Local Fair or Carnival
Ok so maybe this isn't the most educational type of day out, but it sure is fun! Rides, food, games, petting zoos and so much more!
We can't get enough of seeing the huge smiles on our kids' faces as they enjoy the same rides and games that we did as kids too! Ok, so maybe we still enjoy them now just as much!
4. Visit a Local Education Center
Do you ever spend half the day trying to decide what to do with your kids? Yup that's us too sometimes. Then we end up not really doing anything other than relaxing and playing LEGOs (which is perfectly fine!). We've made a real effort this past year to be more adventurous with our family days out. We researched the local area and found some super fun education centers and kid-friendly museums that we never even knew existed.
We hope you can see from these pictures just how captivated our kids were by learning in a new environment. There's only so long they can listen to Mom and Dad about learning, but throw them in a novel situation and they turn into sponges! We wish they'd work like this at home!
5. Get Involved in Seasonal Activities
Whether we take our kids to a pumpkin patch in the fall, or to cut down our own Christmas Tree, the Hinkles are an 'all in' type of family. That means getting hands on and working as a family to celebrate the special time of year. In the Summer this often means raiding our own orchard to pick the fruit.
What we love most about this is that we see our kids enjoy their freedom and get totally messy... just what childhood should be about right?! Although our youngest seems to get messy regardless of whether he is supposed to or not!
Oh and sometimes we come across unexpected learning opportunities too!
6. Get Up Close and Personal with Nature
One of our favorite ways to spend a sunny Saturday is to go fishing together. We wish it was as relaxing as the photo below... but with five kids, including our dare-devil youngest, it can get a little chaotic. But aren't those the kind of stories you tell in years to come? We often pack a pic nic and make a day of it.
7. Some One-to-one Play
We make a huge effort to spend some one-to-one time with all of our kids. We call them date nights, and our kids LOVE it when their turn comes around. It can be as simple as a game of bowling, catching a movie together, hitting up their favorite shop, or heading to Starbucks to do an activity over a Frappuccino.
8. Does Eating Ice Cream Count as Play?
No? Oh well, we love it anyway! Sometimes the best family days out are simple like just tucking into a box of donuts, or even better, a huge tasting platter of ice cream! And yes they finished it all!
What's your family's favorite way to spend a day out? We are always looking for new ideas (as long as they involve food of course). Happy play time friends!
Creative QT designs quality + innovative toys that declutter homes and inspire creative play. Founded by parents of five, Adam and Dana Sue Hinkle, Creative QT’s vision is to empower parents and encourage a culture of families that Make Time Together. All products are designed to enrich families’ lives through active, creative play and play based learning. Creative QT products are laboratory tested for compliance with CPSC requirements and are free of lead, cadmium and phthalates so you can play with confidence. So, go ahead … today is the day: be your kid’s hero.
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