Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Adventure Challenge: Family Edition

Even though I will be talking about a book today, this is more of an experience review than a book review.  You'll see what I mean...

Let me introduce you to The Adventure Challenge: Family Edition.

"Adventure" means exploring outside of your habits, diving deeper into your relationships, and creating meaningful memories.

Your family is awaiting adventure!  With this book as your guide, parents and children alike can experience fun and excitement in a new and unique way.  The catch?  You don't know what that adventure will be until you scratch off the super secret adventure foil (like a lottery ticket, but instead of losing $5, you actually get to do something fun).  Whether you're cooking a delicious apple pie (blindfolded) or inventing your very own "family crest" (something you can hang on a flag and pass down for generations), your whole family will connect with each other in completely new ways.

Grab your family (and a camera), open this book, and begin your Family Adventure Challenge!

Summary from book - Image from publisher - Book given to me for free in exchange for an honest review.
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Let me begin with the following disclaimer:  I AM NOT ADVENTUROUS.  I like predictability.  I like to know exactly what I am getting into.  I. do. not. like. surprises.  Why, oh why, then did I accept this particular book for review -- a book where every scratch-off leads to a surprise adventure?

Good question. 

I suppose it is because I want to be adventurous.  I want to be the cool mom.  I want to create memories with my kids.  And, of course, I want to have something fun to do while we were all stuck in the middle of Quarantine 2020.  Plus, who doesn't like scratch offs?!  I took the leap, said yes, and promptly freaked out.  I'll get to that a bit later.

The Adventure Challenge: Family Edition arrived at my home like many other books -- in a drab brown shipping box.  However, inside that I found an attractive blue box. When I opened it, the smell of the new book inside wafted my way and I will admit I got a little weak-kneed.  Even now when I open it months later...*opens box again*...yup, it still smells amazing.  The book is well-made, with a sturdy cover and thicker-than-usual pages with that help motivate random creativity, clarify the challenge rules, and (of course) provide the promised surprise scratch-off adventures and places to record the results.

Remember how I said I liked to know what I'm getting?  Well, there was one page in particular that felt made for me  -- a key of 14 icons that offer hints about each challenge.  A few of these symbols appear alongside each challenge and give important pre-scratch details, including approximate cost and length of the activity, the ideal time of day for the activity to occur, and other details that aid in planning.  For example, if the adventure has a home icon, it would mean the activity will occur at home and/or indoors, while a tree would mean we needed to be outside, and a crossed utensil forecasts a food-related activity.  You get the idea.  While the activities themselves were a total surprise, these hints were invaluable and allowed us to 'select' activities that were both budget, time, and quarantine-friendly.*

For the purpose of this post, our family tried out FIVE adventures at random.  I am going to give you some sketchy details about what we did and how things went, but I won't be including the titles or all the details of the specific task to preserve a bit of the mystery for others taking the challenge.  There is a space near each challenge set aside to record your thoughts and so I'll be including those as well.

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Adventure #1:  This activity required a whole lot of yarn, our living room, and some skilled maneuvering.  We also needed a timer and a spray bottle of water.  Intrigued?  I don't blame you.

This adventure was easy to set up and rather fun.  It definitely tested our agility and brought out our competitive sides.  There was lots of giggling and liberal application of the spray bottle.  I actually left our living room 'set up' for a day afterwards because my kids wanted to keep playing.  I had to hide the spray bottle.  

^This activity was child #3's favorite.


Adventure #2: This activity required a stack of paper, some ingenuity, precision folding, and a bit of lift.  It brought out our competitive sides more than a little.

To help our smaller children, we divided up into groups with our two teens together and my husband and I each took a kidlet.  My kids learned a new skill, and my perfectionism came out, but we all had fun.  Of course, my husband was the hands-down winner, which surprised exactly no one.

Adventure #3:  This activity required two teams, some serious lip-syncing skills, and zero personal shame.  We weren't able to do this adventure the night we originally planned (because cop-life) and, in the interest of full-disclosure, my introverted soul was admittedly relieved.  For a time I managed to stall my family but they inevitably won out. I am fairly certain my children will murder me for posting any pictures, so all you get is this blurry one (I'll let you guess who it might be).

I would never have chosen to do this adventure of my own volition, introverted as I am, but it turned out to be the most entertaining adventure yet...once we got a few songs in.  My teens were in their element, rocking out with hairbrushes, and my husband totally let his freak flag fly (a bit too much, if I'm being honest).  My younger children were a little more reserved with one joining in towards the end and the other preferring to simply watch.  What I loved most about this activity is that I got to see a different side of my children and they got to see a different side of their parents (you know, the club-goers that existed before they were born).  Of course, now there is a video of me as King George singing "You'll Be Back" from Hamilton somewhere out there in the ether.  Cautionary tale or glowing recommendation?!  I'll let you decide.  For me, it was proof that if you just dive in and face your fears and insecurities, you might actually enjoy yourself!

^This activity was child #1 and child #2's favorite!  And do you know what?  It was mine too!

Adventure #4:  This activity involved a large quantity of eggs. It was high time we picked a messy
challenge and this one was a doozy. It was minimum cost, minimum time, and maximum fun!

Our family really enjoyed this activity.  We took it out on the front lawn in full view of the neighbors or any passing cars and proceeded to laugh our butts off.  We even took a video (sans explanation) and sent it to family. It elicted an immediate response and now they all want their own copy of the book! Even Grandma and Grandpa want the Couple's Edition.

^This activity was child #4's favorite.


Adventure #5:  This challenge urged us to disregard pretty much every dinner table rule in existence.  My little kids were ecstatic.  My big kids thought we were crazy.  It required a little prep work on my part, but clean up was a breeze!

This activity was quite a bit calmer than the last two activities we scratched off, but it was fun to sit around the table with a delicious meal and talk, laugh, and get a little messy together.  The only downside: We chose to do this activity on the back patio and the flies descended about halfway through the meal.  Imagine us waving flies away with one hand and eating with another. Memories!

^This activity was my husband's favorite!

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I loved how this book nudged, cajoled, and full-on flung us outside our varied comfort zones and encouraged us to have fun together as a family. We plan to continue on adventuring and recording our shenanigans in the book.  Five down, 45 to go!  I would recommend The Adventure Challenge: Family Edition to any family looking to infuse a little more fun, creativity, and spontaneity and into their lives.  Give it a try!  I highly doubt you'll be disappointed.

*Stuck in quarantine?  Many of the adventures are quarantine-friendly or can be easily tweaked to be quarantine friendly.  Tip: Look for the "home" or "inside" symbols!  I asked nicely and they sent me a very long, spoiler-free list of the challenges that would work best.

To find out more about this edition, the Couples Edition, or the Friends Edition, visit www.theadventurechallenge.com  or email support@theadventurechallenge.com

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