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Take the Kids Fishing

Take the Kids Fishing

My daughter recently attended a fishing themed birthday party at the local fish hatchery in Abbotsford, BC. This was the same hatchery I visited throughout elementary school to learn about the salmon lifecycle. Truth be told, it wasn’t the coolest field trip to attend and there were no activities like fishing being offered in the 1990’s.

I’ve never been a fisher person, nor have I had any desire to take up fishing, until hitting the river this past week with the kids. The adults were learning, the kids were demonstrating patience, and while no fish were caught we all had fun.

Here are my 4 reasons why you should take your kids fishing:

  1. Educational
  2. Great locations
  3. Inexpensive
  4. Quality time

Educational

My little one fished under the instruction of the hatchery on Sunday and on Wednesday when we went to fish with our friends she actually remembered what to do. It isn’t rocket science to cast and then reel in, but I was really impressed that my 4 year old was learning and retaining a new skill. She’s also learning about fish and I’m finally able to drop those facts about the salmon lifecycle that I learned when I visited the hatchery as a kid!

Great Locations

This week instead of driving out to the Abbotsford hatchery, we opted to visit Derby Reach. The park has a big open field, picnic benches, fire pits for bbq’g, and a large rockey beach for fishing. The kids enjoyed in the field while the adults got the rods ready.

I actually run through this park on my long runs and I think it would be awesome for my husband to fish with the kids one morning while I run through. Aren’t you supposed to catch more fish in the weee hours of the morning anyway?

Inexpensive and Maybe a Free Dinner

Children under the age of 16 do not require a fishing license, which makes this a pretty cheap activity.

A fishing rod was purchased for $12 and a neighbours’ tackle box set the kids up with their bait. Obviously, this outdoor activity can get expensive and maybe that works for your family. If you’re already boating enthusiasts, perhaps some morning fishing trips off the back of the boat will be an easy add-on to your day.

I have low expectations that we will ever catch a fish, but if we did I’ll be making some homemade tartar sauce and cooking the fish for dinner!

Quality Time

Going fishing became an opportunity for my daughter and I to enjoy some calm outdoor time. Usually we are running through the park or scooting down paths, but rarely is an outdoor activity a calm lesson in patience.

I was able to wear my 11 month old in the baby carrier and have her nap while we were practicing casting and reeling.

I think letting the kids play before fishing helped them be calm and patient when we started casting and reeling in the river. It is almost like a carnival game; you cast and hope that you end up winning a prize and if you don’t you try again.

Shelby Hancock of Mouse House Mom details 4 reasons you should take your kids fishing
Fishing at Derby Reach in Langley, BC.

Upcoming Local Events

The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC is offering Learn to Fish events throughout the province this spring. While the April calendar is rather sparse, there are lots of dates in May at local lakes. Most of these events are for children 5 and over, with rods provided, and the cost is by donation.

More Fishing Info

Take a look at the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC site if you are looking for more info on the hatcheries or about learning to fish. If you’re interested in a birthday party at the hatchery check them out here.

Seriously friends, this post is not sponsored at all. I’m just a mom that likes hanging outdoors with my kids.

Are you an avid angler? Do you fish for fun? Do you like catchy alliterations and may consider fishing in the future? Let me know in the comments below.

Summer Bucket List Check-In

Summer Bucket List Check-In

At the end of May my husband and I made a summer bucket list. Now that we are almost a full month into summer, I thought I’d check-in and see how I was progressing with the summer bucket list. I am keen to accomplish our list, which is why I have our summer bucket list on the fridge. I see it multiple times a day – even more now that my freezer is [more like “was”] filled with my grandmas famous cookies!

Shelby Hancock MouseHouseMom Summer Bucket List
See, it really is on the fridge!

My Summer Bucket List

Below is my status update on our summer bucket list. Hopefully you can find some good ideas from the list and make some fun summer memories with your family.

Go to Local Lakes

Living in beautiful BC we have no shortage of lakes within an hour or two of our house.  We haven’t made a trip to the lake yet, but this year we want to try out Whonnock Lake, Alouette,  or Rolley.  I’ve picked these three lakes because I’ve never been to them in summer. Each lake has its perks – Whonnock has a playground and canoe rentals. Alouette is a hidden gem, which I knew nothing about until I saw the breathtaking photos by Cradled Creations photography – after seeing those pics it will get added to your list as well! Lastly, Rolley is a lake I used to run cross country at in the fall and it has a beautiful loop around the lake for exploring.

We know our toddler won’t be up for hours of swimming or wading so we’ve got shovels, buckets, and beach balls ready for when we make our post-nap trip to the lake.

Hubby out for Bike Rides (for Fitness)

Since I have my running routine in place we put this on the bucket list to make it a priority. Summer is best for biking and my husband has a speedy road bike that is collecting dust in the garage. As much as he wants to get out and ride, our weekends are pretty full with family time and this isn’t meant to be a ride in the park. It’s for him to get exercise and cover 30 plus kilometres.

Mommy (me) Do the Grouse Grind

My husband and I began dating in the fall after we spent the summer leading up to it doing the Grouse Grind once a week.  Once we started dating we stopped hiking to the tops of mountains on a weekly basis.  I love the sense of accomplishment I have after finishing the Grouse Grind.  The view at the top ain’t too shabby. Since the trail is fairly rugged its not safe to carry the munchkin in the carrier on our back.  My husband and munchkin can have a morning together and I’ll go do the Grind.  Still need to pick a date and go! Interested in joining?

Go to the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE)

The PNE is comparable to a state fair. We’ve taken our munchkin every year since she was born. They have livestock barns where you can see horses, chickens, goats, and agility bunnies. We take in a show (e.g., horse show or super dogs), eat some fair food (e.g., mini donuts), and see the sights.  One of our close friends has always joined us and I think we all look forward to saying goodbye to summer at the PNE.

MouseHouseMom Summer Bucket List PNE
PNE growth chart. First year was far below sheep. This year she’s on track for Mini Horse!

Go Kayaking or Canoeing

Before I had my daughter, my husband and I would take our moms kayaking once a year.  Now that our munchkin is two, I think she’d enjoy a canoe ride. Ocean kayaking with a toddler seems crazy, but canoeing seems like a fun outing. However, my munchkin has no fear of water.  This means I’m nearly positive that she’ll jump out of the canoe, but with life-jackets on all of us that should be ok.

Host a Canada Day BBQ

Finally something I’ve accomplished on my bucket list!!  We had neighbours and friends over for a simple BBQ. I think hosting a Canada Day BBQ may become a family tradition.

Shelby Hancock Mouse House Mom Summer Bucket List Canada Day BBQ
Oh Canada BBQ!

Backyard Pool Fun

I found a great inflatable pool and we’ve been enjoying it for weeks now. Another item to cross off my summer bucket list. If you’re looking for more information, I recently blogged about maximizing backyard fun – more than just a dip in the kiddie pool.

Family Bike Rides

We are keeping up our family bike rides that I spoke about in an earlier blog post. As long as the munchkin has a snack, she is happy.

Go for Ice Cream

Last summer I have no recollection of paying a visit to an ice cream parlour for a cone.  I’m a huge ice cream fan and while my freezer is fully stocked, I still enjoy a trip to the ice cream parlour. Ice cream and a leisurely stroll go together like stained glass and churches!  My in-laws live in South Surrey so you might see us in White Rock, enjoying a double scoop cone.

Cook a Low Country Boil

I found out about the low country boil a few years back in a food magazine. My husband’s birthday is coming up next week so I should give it a try.  While I haven’t made one yet, I know that my low country boil will feature red potatoes, corn on the cob, crab, shrimp, sausage (i.e., kielbasa), and Parallel 49 beer!

Make Jam

My grandma and I are a jamming duo when summer raspberries are ripe.  The munchkin enjoys homemade (no sugar added) raspberry freezer jam on whole grain toast every weekday for breakfast so we go through a lot of jam.  I prefer to can my jam and stock my pantry with it.  I only saw local raspberries for sale last week so in another couple weeks I’ll start jamming!

I’m going to make a jam gift for the munchkin’s daycare instructors. I’ll write out “thanks for being so sweet” and share a jar of jam as thank you for taking care of the munchkin. I’ll share more on this in a future post.

Pick Apples

This is one of the last things we’ll do in summer as the apples aren’t ripe yet. Last August we went picking at the orchard the first weekend it opened and I got to enjoy some new varieties, such as gravenstein apples!

Camp in the Backyard

This was on the list because my nieces were here a few weeks back. Unfortunately it rained most of their time here so no camping. I’ll put this back on the summer bucket list when the munchkin is older.

 

What’s on your summer bucket list? Leave a comment in the comments section below.