Themed rooms are luxury prisons with pink walls.

How wide is your horizon?

Children's capacity to appreciate, learn from, work with and interact with a variety of things is much better than ours (mine anyway) and it comes to them effortlessly. For us, adults, variety needs more effort. The challenge is to make the effort to break out of our comfort zones and routines so we can teach our children about variety.

Diversity is one of the most important principles for young minds. Imagine being a painter and the art supply store only sells red paint, yet there are thousands of colours out there. Imagine being a food critic and all you ever see on the menu is dry toast, yet there are thousands of recipies out there. How many colours and foods do we make available for our kids?

Diversity empowers people with choice. Diversity is key to be able to adapt, to choose what's best for us and others. Engaging in a wide variety of activities is key to children's development. Diversity broadens our horizons and allows us to see everything from different perspectives, to understand each other (and ourselves) better and express ourselves better.

If we know how to cook a hundred meals we'll almost always have ingredients at home for something. If we only know how to make Kraft dinner from a box then we'll be hungry when we're out of KD. If we know and like to skate, snowboard, ski, swim, read, go to theathres and indoor climb then miserable winter weekends are replaced with great fun. If we only know how to watch TV then we get as miserable as those long winter nights.

Kids are the most diverse creatures of all. For them, change is easy, they embrace differences and experimenting. It would be a shame to let them to be idle, to engage in the same mundane routine every day, to let their bodies and emotions get rusty.

Consider the differences in these examples:

To and from daycare:
By car every day
versus:
by car, toboggan, wagon, tricycle, push bike, pedal bike, on foot, with dad's bike, riding on dad's shoulder - sometimes with our dogs walking with us.

Breakfast:
Alternating cereal, yoghurt and peanut butter
versus:
Eat dozens of different kinds of breakfasts. (I experimented with this to see how many uniquely different breakfasts I can serve and found that it's quite easy to eat a different breakfast for a month every day.)

Food:
There is food on the plate in front of us (that most of the time comes from a box or gets delivered)
versus:
We buy food together at different grocery stores or from the farmers market or grow our own and we prepare foods together.

Weekends:
Mostly TV and video games and a few playgrounds
versus:
Hiking, climbing, skiing, traveling, train rides, bike rides, dog park, cooking, theatre, museum, playgrounds, swimming, canoeing, book stores, camping, tobogganing, picnic, zoo, dogwalk, groceries, dance, tea party, circus, science center, etc, etc, etc.

Which child will have a better understanding of the world around them? Which child will be able to decide for himself what they really like/want to do? Which child will raise their child(ren) in a way that's fulfilling and rewarding? Which child will find a solution (or different solutions) to a wide variety of problems? Which child will be more inventive, ingenious and resourceful?