**This is the first in a series of posts of FAQs.**
Where do I find ideas for new experiences? This is, by far, the most frequent question I hear. People seemed overwhelmed by the thought of trying one new experience every week. They seem concerned that they won’t be able to think of something to try.
I have one million ideas for our experiences, but finding ones that are feasible can be a challenge at times.
So, I keep a running list of all ideas that seem like they might be in reach. It is just a little handwritten list in the back of a journal. Any time an idea pops into my head, I see something in a newspaper or a book, I jot it down so I don’t forget it. There are currently 59 ideas on the list. We’ve done a few, so I crossed them off. We still have 45 possibilities left.
I am always thinking about fun things to do with my children, so I look in our local paper and a free Kids Guide that every dentist and pediatrician seems to have in their waiting rooms. The Kids Guide lists museums, and that is where I got the idea to visit Insectropolis and the Grounds for Sculpture. The local newspaper gave me the idea to volunteer at the food pantry. The blurb in the paper was asking for donations of pasta and peanut butter, but I thought we could do more than that.
My network of kid bloggers gives me lots of inspiration and feasible ideas. Tinkerlab made recycled paper before I did and Let’s Lasso the Moon gave me the idea to go screen free for a week. Sometimes I take an idea I have seen and tweak it to fit our needs. Teach Mama tried an apple taste test, but I changed it into an ice cream taste test to kick off the summer. While I do follow many kid blogs, Pinterest is the place where I actually see the projects. Leah is so used to hearing that I got an idea for one of our art projects, learning games, or new experiences on Pinterest that she’ll ask me, “Mom, can we look on Pinterest today and find a project to do?”
Friends and readers give me lots of ideas, too. Before they try something new, friends will ask me if we’ve tried it first. I’m flattered that they ask for our opinion or ask us to join them. It was my friend, Kristine, who invited us to both the play in the park and the sprayground.
Lastly, my kids are my biggest inspiration. Every experience we try, I keep my children’s interests in mind. Luke loves to build things, so we tried Lowe’s Build and Grow. Leah loves to cook, so we made bread from scratch. When Luke thought he wasn’t a good artist, we painted like Jackson Pollack. Watching Leah run to the corner and back over and over again as we waited for Luke’s bus to arrive was the inspiration for trying the Kids’ Fun Run. Luke saw a TV show in which the characters had a lemonade stand, so he asked if we could do that, too. Both of my children dance around our house daily, so we just had to try Baby Loves Disco. Now that my kids have really bought into the idea of trying new experiences, they have made a few more requests. If their ideas are at all possible, we will definitely try them.