How to Explore Caves With Your Kids: Spelunking Basics

Do your kids like to explore the great outdoors?

Want to add an exciting extra element to your next hiking, camping or vacation adventure?

Go spelunking (cave exploring) with your kids and introduce them to parts of the world they’ve probably never seen before.

In this article I’ll explain spelunking basics, and share what you need to know before you try caving with your family.

Ever been in a cave? Try spelunking (cave exploring) with your kids and discover incredible, hidden places, formed by nature. Caving basics for new explorers.

Why Go Spelunking?

There’s a reason that caves are a common setting in literature, TV, movies, mythology and even non-fiction stories: Caves are cool, dark and mysterious! These incredible hidden places, formed by nature, just beg to be explored by kids and grownups alike.

You probably won’t find a dragon or pirate’s treasure or even a hibernating bear on your spelunking adventure, but you and your family will see and experience wondrous things that stimulate kids’ imaginations and curiosity about the natural world.

When you explore a cave as a family, you’ll have both an exciting outdoor adventure and a fun learning experience that everyone will remember for a long time.

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9 Tips for Creating a Birthday Party Adventure for Your Child

Want to give your child a birthday party to remember?

Tired of uninspired activities and overpriced commercial venues?

Create a party that’s an adventure, right at home.

In this article I’ll show you how to choose an imaginative theme, transform your home or yard into a birthday party wonderland and transport partygoers to another time and place, all to celebrate your awesome kid.

It’s not as hard as you may think.

Want to host a birthday party adventure? Choose a theme, transform your home, and transport guests to another time and place, all to celebrate your awesome kid.

Why Plan a Birthday Party Adventure?

Every day with kids is an adventure, but their birthdays are extra-special, so give them a fun day to remember with their friends.

An adventure birthday takes all of the party elements that kids know and love (cake, presents and fun times with friends) and adds something extra: It’s a story, a show, a custom-made extravaganza with your child in the starring role. Who wouldn’t love that for their birthday?

Thinking up the games, costumes and decorations together is part of the fun, too. Your kids will be thrilled to see their ideas come to life in front of all their friends.

Kids grow up way too fast! So now is the time to give them the gift of an unforgettable birthday adventure!

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Exploring the Outdoors: How to Make a Family Adventure

podcast iconDo your kids like to play outside?

Are you looking for ways to get your kids more interested in nature?

To learn how to have amazing outdoor adventures with your kids, I interview Eugene Buchanan for this episode of the Parenting Adventures podcast.

More About This Show

parenting adventures podcast michael stelzner

The Parenting Adventures podcast is a show from My Kids’ Adventures.

It’s for parents (and grandparents) who are looking for creative things to do with their kids.

The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting).

In this episode, I interview Eugene Buchanan, author of Outdoor Parents, Outdoor Kids: A Guide to Getting Your Kids Active in the Great Outdoors.

Eugene is the former publisher of Paddler magazine. He’s covered the Beijing Olympics for NBC and written for ESPN, the New York Times, Men’s Journal and National Geographic Adventure, to mention a few. He also has a site called Recreating with Kids.

Eugene shares ways you can get your kids excited about exploring the great outdoors.

You’ll discover the advantages of exposing your kids to nature, how to get them interested in outdoor pursuits and where to start.

Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below!

Listen Now

You can also subscribe via iTunes or Stitcher.

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Test Your Luck With a Superstition Obstacle Course

Do your kids love obstacle courses?

Want a fun way to play with superstitions and get kids active at the same time?

Set up a superstition obstacle course. It’s a fun way to get kids outdoors, keep them moving and play with the myths of good luck and bad luck at the same time.

In this article I’ll show you how to create an awesome obstacle course with your kids that turns superstitions into fun challenges and symbols of good or bad luck into games of skill and speed.

Want to test your luck and your fitness, too? Make a superstition obstacle course that turns symbols of good or bad luck into games of skill and speed for kids.

Why Set Up a Superstition Obstacle Course?

A superstition is a belief that certain things change people’s luck. Are they real, or are they just myths? This obstacle course will put 13 common superstitions to the test and challenge your family’s physical abilities, too.

Whether you’re superstitious or not, you and your family will have a great time as you set up your obstacle course, talk about good luck and bad luck charms and compete for the best time (or personal best) through the games.

Your kids may want to run through the superstition obstacle course again and again until they’re masters of speed and good luck!

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How to Create Family Book Adventures With Fictional Characters

Do your kids ever dress up like their favorite characters?

Want to take that a step further and introduce more ways to bring books to life?

Have a family book adventure and help the stories live on.

Teach your kids to make friends with fictional characters from books and they won’t be bored at all this summer.

In this article I’ll show you six fun ways to create book adventures with fictional characters for lots of family fun. They’ll encourage your kids to read more, stretch their imaginations and play.

Want kids to turn off TV and tune into reading? Bring books to life! Take kids on a book adventure that goes beyond the pages. They won't be bored all summer.

Why Explore Fictional Characters?

Summer is a time to relax and have fun with your kids. You may be tempted (and they may be begging) to turn on the TV, video games and other electronic devices to cure your kids’ boredom. But it’s healthier to encourage your kids to connect with fictional characters that don’t require an “on” switch.

Books introduce you to an endless range of incredible fictional characters and give you a peek into places and times you may have never imagined—even whole new imaginary worlds. (Dr. Seuss, anyone?)

You and your kids can enjoy your favorite books and the characters you meet in them long after you’ve reached “The End.”

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How to Fish: Teach Your Kids Fishing in 9 Easy Steps

Do you love natural settings in the great outdoors?

Want to teach your children to appreciate nature (even if you live in the city)?

Grab a pole and some bait, head to the water and take them fishing!

In this article, I’ll show you how to teach your kids how to fish, even if you’ve never done it yourself.

Grab a pole and some bait, head to the water and teach your kids how to fish, even if you've never done it yourself.

We’ll focus on fishing for catfish, but the concepts can be applied to whatever fish are prevalent in your part of the world.

Why Go Fishing With Your Kids?

Fishing is one of humankind’s oldest pastimes. It’s easy to learn, easy to teach your children and doesn’t have to involve lots of expensive equipment. It’s also a great opportunity to teach kids about aquatic ecosystems in a way that builds great memories.

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How to Stage a Sword Battle With Your Kids, Percy Jackson Style

Want to bring the mythical world of Percy Jackson to life in your own backyard?

Do your kids turn anything they get their hands on into a weapon?

Here’s a sword that won’t hurt.

This one won’t turn into a pen, but you can use it to stage an epic battle of good vs. evil, hero vs. monster or just kids vs. Dad.

In this article I’ll show you how to make an inexpensive (and safe) sword out of PVC and pool noodles so you can duel with your kids. Recreate battles from Percy Jackson and the Olympians books or make up your own family sword-fighting adventure—you and your kids will have lots of fun either way.

Bring the mythical world of Percy Jackson to life in your own backyard using an inexpensive (and safe) sword out of PVC and duel with your kids.

Why Stage a Sword Battle?

Heroes and their swords are a classic theme in adventure stories—from King Arthur and Excalibur to Luke Skywalker and his lightsaber and even Percy Jackson and Riptide. Sword battles have been used in literature and movies throughout time to represent the struggle and eventual triumph of good over evil.

And as long as kids have been picking up sticks from the ground, they have been staging their own versions of these fantastic battles of will and swordplay. It’s even better when Mom or Dad plays the role of the big ugly monster!

It’s great fun until someone gets hurt.

They won’t get hurt with the padded sword I’ll teach you how to make below, so you can let your kids’ imaginations run wild. All you need is a little time, some inexpensive supplies and a space to do battle.

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How to Turn a Fall Walk Into an Autumn Wreath Adventure

Do you find it hard to get your kids out of the house at this time of year?

Want to get them out in the fresh air so they can burn some energy AND get creative?

Cure your cabin fever woes with a fun family activity that will get you all outside for a fall walk that will bring back what you need to decorate your door and welcome holiday guests.

In this article I’ll show you how to make a fun and festive fall wreath with your kids using materials you find on a nature walk.

Learn how to make a fun and festive fall wreath with your kids using materials you find on a nature walk.

Why Make a Nature Wreath?

The colder seasons give us a chance to slow down after the busy summer months and connect with our kids indoors, but it can be a challenge to find activities everyone will enjoy.

This adventure gives your family a great reason to get out and about and burn some bottled-up energy. It also provides a creative way to spend your time when you get back indoors.

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12 Ways to Help Your Kids Break Free From Electronics and Get Outside

Do your kids spend too much time indoors playing with electronic devices?

Are you wondering how to get them outside to experience the wonders of nature?

If so, you’re not alone.

Children (and the rest of us) are enamored with our electronic gadgets. We have been sold a bill of goods about the value of having a digital life.

In this article I’ll reveal a dozen ideas I gleaned from Richard Louv’s book, Last Child in the Woods, which champions a better way for kids to live—with nature.

Read the review of Last Child in the Woods (by Richard Louv) and discover 12 ways to get your kids off their electronics and into the great outdoors.

Why Nature?

In a 2010 study, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the average young American (ages 8-18) spends practically every waking minute—except for time in school—using a smartphone, computer, television or other electronic device.

Sadly, the quality of life isn’t measured by how many Facebook friends we have, or how well our kids play Wii games or how many songs they have on their iPod. One way to measure is by what we have lost or traded.

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How to Hide a Geocache With Your Kids

Does your family love the thrill of electronic treasure hunts known as geocaching?

Want to create an outdoor adventure that other families can enjoy too?

Take your fun to the next level and hide a geocache with your kids.

With nothing more than a smartphone and a few items from around the house, you and your kids can hide a geocache for other families to enjoy.

In this article I’ll show you how easy it is to hide a geocache and share the adventure for months to come.

Hide a geocache and introduce other families to your favorite places, show your kids the value of giving back and create an outdoor adventure.

Why Hide a Geocache?

Have you introduced your family to the adventure of geocaching?

Geocaching is a hunt for hidden treasure using a GPS (or GPS-enabled phone). There are over 2.2 million geocaches hidden all over the world, ready for you to find. You simply log onto Geocaching.com to find the coordinates of a cache in your area, head outside and follow your phone to find the hidden treasure. Once found, you sign the logbook, trade one of the treasures found inside with something you brought to share and hide the cache container back in its place for the next treasure hunter.

It’s a lot of fun to find a geocache, but it can be even more fun to hide one.

Hiding a cache is a way to share your outdoor adventures with other families. And a cache hidden by kids for kids is extra-special—it creates more fun and adventures for everyone.

Hiding a cache will introduce other families to your favorite places, show your kids the value of giving back and create an outdoor adventure for other families with young kids.

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Check out the Parenting Adventures podcast with Michael Stelzner
How to Have an Outdoor Photo Scavenger Hunt With Your Kids
How to Create Glow-In-The-Dark Bowling In Your Home
How to Create a Backyard Treasure Hunt, Minecraft Style
How to Make Slime: 5 Easy Recipes
How to Entertain Your Kids for Hours With Adventure Tubs