If you’ve never been hiking with kids before, it can be a daunting task. But with the right knowledge and attitude, it’s easy to get your kids excited about spending their time outdoors with you.
Hiking is a great way for children to be active outdoors and there are many benefits to walking. You can introduce your kids to hiking in a safe and fun way which will hopefully mean you will be encouraging them to be the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts.
I’m always wanting to get outdoors with the boys, which can be difficult when my youngest hates to walk anywhere! I’ve come up with 5 tips that help make hiking fun for kids.
Tips For Getting Children Interested in Hiking
PLAY CHILD-FRIENDLY GAMES WHILE HIKING WITH KIDS
I have found playing games while out hiking with kids is a great way to keep them engaged. For example, when they see something interesting going on, tell them to point it out and ask them what it is. Another example would be to play hide and seek with your children is another great way to engage them in the outdoors. Remember not to go too far off the trail as that can lead to dangerous situations.
If you wanted to prepare a scavenger hunt you can download and print activity sheets from the internet before you leave. Your children can then try to find these along their route while out hiking with you.
GO AT THEIR PACE WHILE HIKING
While hiking, especially with small children, it’s important to go at your children(s) pace. If you’re not sure if it’s something they can handle, start with small walks first. You can always increase the intensity of your workout as time goes on.
When you first start out, it’s important to start with slow and steady. You don’t want to put extra pressure on your body (or theirs) by pushing too much too quickly. Sometimes when walking with kids it feels like you aren’t making much progress. However, slow and steady wins the race. The more you try and quicken the pace the more likely you will be met by tired and defiant children.
Practice makes perfect and the more you go out hiking with children the more likely you will discover their walking pace and know exactly how much you can push them before they get too tired and need a break.
REMEMBER THE FOOD!!
When you’re hiking with kids, it’s important to remember to pack snacks. Not only will this save you money on the journey, but it will also improve their eating habits and encourage them to eat well. It’s very important to make sure you stop regularly for food and drink when doing a long hike as you and your child(ren) will get hungry a lot more quickly.
I also think it is really important to make sure that your children are aware of poisonous plants and berries as well as the consequences of eating them. Teaching them about the different poisonous plants and berries they may encounter will help them be able to recognise these things when they’re out hiking.
START OFF WITH SMALL WALKS FIRST
When it comes to walking, the first step you can take is to start with small walks. You don’t have to walk for miles right out of the gate. If you start with small walks and then gradually build up your child’s stamina. It’s also important not to overdo it because it can cause this will lead to your child potentially becoming anxious or distressed.
If you want to prevent meltdowns, then it helps to learn your child’s limits. If you know what he or she can handle, then you can limit your actions and not make the situation worse by going too far too fast.
MAKE SURE THEY ARE COMFORTABLE
The most important thing when it comes to hiking with kids is to make sure they are comfortable. If you’re trying to get your kids outside and get active, the last thing you want is them being uncomfortable as it won’t be fun for you or them.
I would suggest a good pair of hiking boots for any child over 4 years old (or younger if they are walking a good distance). Hiking boots protect your feet from sharp rocks, mud, and other hazards that can be found in the wild.
When it comes to clothes, the best way to stay warm in the winter months is to wear layers because it retains your body heat. Also, remember to layer clothes instead of just piling on a bunch of heavy thick layers.
Remember: Clothes should be suitable for the weather and season that you’re in.
Simply Women has 4 reasons why you should go for a family walk over on her blog.
Does anyone else have any great tips for making hiking with kids fun? Let me know in the comments below.
Hiking With Kids – The Guides
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