At the end of this month our 11-year old niece Katlin is going to come up and spend the weekend with us and you all must help me. I want it to be one of those fun, magical, "Aunt Dena and Uncle Blair are the coolest people on the planet" weekends. But I'm drawing a blank.
On our side is that this isn't one of those forced activities. She wants to come for the weekend.My sister-in-law shared with us that Katlin told her that if anything ever happened to them (meaning my sister-in-law and her husband, Katlin's parents), she wanted to live with Uncle Blair and Aunt Dena. How precious is that, I ask you?
But what to do with a pre-teen in 100 degree North Carolina heat? If the river is up, we're thinking maybe a 3-hour kayacking trip. Also, Katlin has been to England several times and inherited her grandmother's teapot collection and is big into afternoon teas. She has a little recipe book for things like cucumber sandwiches, scones, and other snacks that go with tea so we thought we might spend some time in the kitchen. (I know, I know. I'll be careful. And hopefully Blair will be there to supervise in case we need to use the stove.)
But if anyone has any other ideas, send them on. I'd prefer it be a weekend spent bonding vs. watching movies or TV. I'm trying to remember what I liked to do when I was eleven. Play with make-up? Ride bikes. I also had my cousins around to play with and we did a lot of neighborhood activities.
I caught the tail end of a report on NPR that said directors of national parks and other outdoor places are worried. It used to be American kids growing up spent the majority of their time outside either playing or working. But in the last several decades there's been a severe reversal and people--kids especially--don't go outside like they used to. This is translating into less people wanting to spend time camping, going to national parks or participating in any kind of touristy outdoor activities. I hadn't thought about it in those terms, but that makes sense. As kids, our parents sent us outside in the summer with instructions to come home when the street lights came on. No way I'd do that with a child nowadays.
Sorry, got sidetracked. To sum up, please share any ideas you have for aunt-uncle-neice bonding time. Thanks!