NATIONAL ‘KIDS YES DAY’ SET TO PRE-EMPT PARENTAL PANIC WITH PRO TIPS
OTTAWA, ON – MARCH 13, 2023 … Scouts Canada (the country’s leading co-ed youth organization) lives by the approach ‘At Scouts, we say yes when others say no.’ This March 24th (On Canada’s first Kids Yes Day), Scouts Canada wants parents to say YES to kids’ requests for fun activities that—without a plan—may seem crazy(ish) at first glance, even slightly risky. Volunteer Scouters have offered solid pro tips and hacks to support families in bringing their kids’ zany ideas to life in a way that is age and skill appropriate, safe and most importantly—fun for both the kids and parents! When parents start with ‘yes, and’ to their kids’ ideas, their child is empowered to take the lead, explore new skills and discover their thing. In preparation for Kids Yes Day, Scouts Canada surveyed a focus group of 145 youth (between the ages of 5 and 14) and 368 parent members to determine what activities Canadian kids wish their parents would say ‘yes’ to.
What Kids Want: When asked which activities they wanted to do the most, kids had many creative responses:
55% want to blow stuff up
50% want to do extreme outdoor activities (like winter camping, paddling to remote sites or staying a night in the woods alone)
44% of kids want to light fireworks
44% want to fly an airplane (or spaceship!)
42% want to do ‘wacky science experiments.’
41% want to ride a dirt bike
40% want to get close to a lion or other animal (some even want to pet them.)
Don’t knee-jerk a ‘no’ to your kids’ ideas.Find ways to come up with equally fun, modified activities with your kids...
Scouts Canada suggests it’s important to talk to your kids and find out what the most interesting part of the activity is to them. If it’s blowing things up? Do they love the BOOM sound? Is it the visual part they love? Is it seeing what’s left of an exploding object?
Identify obstacles, plan ahead, set safe parameters, and set yourself up to problem-solve in real time.
Most importantly, find a pivot idea that helps your kids still experience the ‘main draw’ in a safe, practical way that is age and skill appropriate.
“While parents may have reasonable concerns about cost, time or even mess, there’s no reason that a version of adventure-based requests can’t be done in a completely safe way,” said Mike Eybel, a volunteer Scouter of nine years with Scouts Canada and father of two. “Scouts start from a place of yes; youth can take the lead in coming up with the ideas, planning and actioning them with volunteer Scouters there to support them along the way. This gives youth the opportunity to develop confidence, problem-solving skills and the ability to assess and manage risk for future adventures. Kids Yes Day brings these benefits and pro-tips to all youth in Canada; we’re hoping it catches on for years to come.”
To jumpstart the yes’s, Scouts Canada has curated suggestions on how to keep things safe for some of the most popular kid ‘asks’.
1. Kabooms for kids Make sure that you start small! There are lots of completely safe ways to deliver explosive excitement, such as:
Instead of winter camping, do a Snow Fort Sleepover. Build a quinzhee with snow in your backyard, and use winter gear for a super fun night outside!
Rather than diving into a solo night hike, have your kid(s) lead the way on a night hike while the parents hang behind, using walkie-talkies to keep in touch; your child gets to feel the independence of ‘going it alone’, knowing support is nearby if needed.
Meet the animals: Visit a conservation area, rehabilitation centre or local animal shelter as an introduction to wildlife. Explain that petting is only allowed in clearly marked places and with adult supervision.
Depending on your kid(s)’ level of experience, remote camping can be worked towards in stages. Do a dry run before embarking on the real thing!
Scouter Certified Hacks:
New to camping and finding trails? Try these apps to locate hiking and camping destinations near you and tips!
Gear isn’t cheap. Try renting from a retail outlet or borrowing from friends.
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