We had a stupendous time at the annual Stroller Hikes craft party yesterday. Not as many people came as we expected but it made for a cozy group, with plenty of resources for kids to create everything and anything. Kids and parents left with salt scrubs, fabric sandwich and snack bags, seeded garden flowers, felt coasters, wine glass charms, ornaments, magnets, unique artwork, and newfound treasures from our hodgepodge of craft supplies (collected over the last twenty years, and happy to be put to use!).
It was a treat to see so many familiar faces and new ones as well. A highlight was also seeing the creativity, and the eagerness to try something new. Parents even joined in – they could not be outdone by their 3, 4, or 5 year olds operating a sewing machine! Two parents swore they would finally get out the sewing machine that had taken up residence in the closet, as they left inspired.
This willingness to try new things and drive to master a machine usually operated by an adult is apparent every day in my kids. Holly and Max play the digital drum kit, use the driving simulator, and want to operate the blender, as well as press every button in the car, all with adult supervision of course. If you made it out this summer, you saw dozens of little faces light up when given the chance to drive a tractor at the Bravo Farm where we have had out huge annual camping trip for the last three years. Some people attribute kids’ desires to operate machinery to their need to grow up fast, but I think it stems from emulation of real-life heroes. They watch us and want to do what we do; nothing seems off-limits at their age, as they lack few, if any, inhibitions.
Andrew (my husband) has a substantial machine shop now, with large industrial equipment that is intimidating to an adult. But to Max (5) it’s exciting, and I welcome his inquiry and excitement. When I was a little girl, I learned to cook, sew, garden, and more, and it has paid dividends as an adult. I also learned to camp, light a fire, build with sticks and mud, and hike. Stroller Hikes is all about extending these same opportunities to our community through free events. With resolution season upon us, consider a resolution like getting outside with your kids for outdoor play and exercise once or twice a week, or if you’re aiming for something more steep, start running with our Tuesday morning running group (stroller-friendly!), learn to belay so you can help your child rock climb on Fridays with our climbing group, or start leading a hike of your own so you can build a routine that’s hard to break for yourself and you can provide a resource for the community.
Thanks to Sports Basement for hosting us at our craft party! We stocked up on fruit leather and granola bars for our trip north to see family and friends, with our 10% Stroller Hikes discount (mention Stroller Hikes at the register any time, and receive this discount on your entire bill). Thanks also to those of you who donated at the craft party. It’s not too late to make a tax-deductable donation to Stroller Hikes for 2011. Know that your donation supports our ongoing free opportunities to families all over the Bay Area, provided by our entirely volunteer staff. For more information on donations, see http://www.strollerhikes.com/Donate.php.
There will be no newsletters for the next few weeks, due to the holidays. Newsletters will resume in January. Happy Holidays, everyone!
– Debbie (Founder and President), Max, and Holly