As you’ve likely read in this blog series’ first installment, it takes a bit more preparation when hiking with children. Although children are often more entertaining than adults, it can be challenging to get them as excited as us for hiking. It is often recommended to allow children to gradually experience hiking and let them find a love for the hobby themselves. While as parents, we want to experience the things we enjoy with our kids, it is easy to forget how tedious something as simple as a hike can be for a child.
Planning is one of the key aspects of hiking with children. This was highlighted in the first installment of this blog series. While food and water preparation are key to a successful hike with your kids, making sure the experience is worthwhile for them is another important thing to plan. If you are familiar with the trail (and it is recommended that you are) make sure that there is a climactic experience for the kids at the end of the hike. If the weather permits, a hike that ends at a natural pool, lake, or river to swim in, is a great incentive to keep the kids going. Giving the children something to anticipate will heighten not only their excitement for this journey but for much more to come!
Along the Trail
The incentive at the end of a hike may be enough for some kids to but for others, simply walking is not enough to keep them happy. Parents who are expert hikers have come up with some fun ways to keep your kids engaged during the long trek. Creating a nature scavenger hunt is a great way for children to remain engaged and enthusiastic about the upcoming adventure. Some fun scavenger hunt ideas include; searching for animal tracks, identifying bugs, or even finding clouds that look like other things! Besides fun games, engaging the kids by giving them different “roles” is a fun way for them to feel as though they are a crucial part of making the adventure!
Venturing out into the great outdoors with our kids can create memories that will last a lifetime. As long as you are prepared for any scenario, with plenty of backup plans, you are sure to have a great time with the whole family!