A simple and inexpensive bonding activity hiking with kids. Parents have a great opportunity to spend quality time with their children in the great outdoors. These simple tips will show you how to make hiking even more fun for your kids too.
WHY GO HIKING WITH KIDS?
Doing the same thing all the time is boring for everyone. Parents need to start thinking out of the box and start getting a little more creative about ways to spend time as a family.
One of the best ways you can bond with your kids is through something a bit physical. It will help you spend time with them, while you stay active and physically fit.
First off, it helps your child broaden their mind by reaching and going to many new places. Aside from that, it improves their physicality. It can even help improve their mental health.
However, walking miles upon miles doesn’t sound like the most exciting thing to do as a kid. Therefore, you should make an active effort to make hiking more fun for them.
HOW TO MAKE HIKING MORE FUN FOR KIDS
It is actually very easy to make hiking with kids more fun for them and for you.
We all know that when the kids are happy it makes the whole outing more relaxing and fun for everyone.
With a little preplanning and creativity your kids may find that hiking is their absolute favorite family activity.
Here are eight tips that will make hiking way more enjoyable for them.
GET KIDS INVOLVED IN THE PLANNING STAGE
A common problem that arises is that parents plan outings that they think sound fun without getting input from the kids in advance.
Kids get dragged along and have no real buy-in for the event. This can create a frustrating experience for everyone and the day may not end is joyful hugs.
If you want your kid to look forward to hiking, then make them feel like they’re a part of the entire process. To do that, you need to involve them in the planning.
One way you can get them involved with planning for the trip would be to bring them with you when you’re buying their hiking equipment.
Let them choose the trekking poles that best fit them. Not only will they be safe during the hike, but they will also feel like they’re a part of the process instead of you dragging them along through it.
BRING LOTS OF SNACKS
Your kids are going to be spending a lot of energy throughout the hike. Since they’re expending a lot of energy, they’re going to need something that will replenish that for them.
Having a lot of snacks with you is the solution to that issue.
We’ve all had to deal with kids who were a bit grumpy and less than fun to hang out with because they were hungry. Avoid that issue altogether by having a lot of food available.
With your kids satiated along the hike, they will have more energy to hike. Plus, it will help improve their mood throughout the trek. We love to take energy balls along on our hikes.
TAKE SMALL BREAKS
No matter how energetic your child might seem at home, it doesn’t equate to them being able to finish a long hike without resting.
If your kids don’t feel energetic, they’ll drag their feet and make the hike a lot longer than it should be. Therefore, you must plan out short breaks throughout your walk.
First of all, make sure that you are taking a hiking trail that won’t be too taxing on your kid. Second of all, make sure that you keep them hydrated and that you always check on them and ask whether they need a break.
Communicating and telling them the plan of action for the hike will help give them more motivation. The short breaks will provide them with time to recuperate.
LET THE KIDS TAKE THE PICTURES
Giving your kids their cameras so that they can take pictures of whatever they encounter on the hike is one way to keep them engaged in the walk.
Kids often are too young to appreciate in-the-moment events in their life. Giving them a camera allows them to focus on what’s happening in the hike more.
What’s great about this is that it’s going to help you remember the essential memories that you have of the hike. It will let you see the world through your kids' eyes based on which things they deemed were worth a picture during the trek.
PLAY A SCAVENGER HUNT GAME
Hiking is a balance of enjoying the journey to get there and feeling the satisfaction of accomplishing your goal.
As a parent, you want to make sure that your kids learn to enjoy the trip, which is a lot harder for a child. But one way to keep it fun is by playing a scavenger hunt with your kids based on what you can find in the hiking trail. Although, you will need adequate information on the hiking trail you’re on to make this work.
You can even incorporate the picture-taking aspect into this game. Either way, give them small goals to accomplish during the hike. For example, taking pictures of local flora and fauna is a worthy goal for them.
These small quests will help keep them engaged
GIVE KIDS SOME RESPONSIBILITY
Give them something to be in charge of, so they feel the importance of their presence during the hike.
An easy responsibility for kids would be helping pack their own backpacks for the hike. Use this day hiking trip packing checklist to make sure you bring everything you will need.
Put the kids in charge of making sure all the trash is picked up during snack breaks is another easy job for kids.
Younger kids are especially eager to help!
LEARN AND CONNECT WITH NATURE
Your kids don’t get to enjoy nature one-on-one in their daily lives, as much as you might have in your childhood. Therefore, hiking with kids can help to get them interested in nature and to go down and get dirty.
You can get them a local flora or fauna guide that they can bring with them to see if they encounter any of the ones listed.
Watch for any animals and unusual birds you may see while hiking.
Of course, if you’re too serious of the goal of the hike, then neither you nor your kid is going to enjoy yourselves.
A hike is supposed to be healing and fun. If you’re not having fun, then there might be no point in going on that hike. Tell jokes and stores while you hike or even try singing some silly songs.
Make sure that you let yourself have fun as well. Your energy can affect your kids, so showing them that you are also actively engaged will help them enjoy the hike.
Hiking is an activity that people of all ages can do. If you’re hiking with kids, multiple challenges come with it. You have to keep them safe while also keeping them entertained. Hopefully, with this list above, you’ll have some inspiration on approaching a potential hiking trip with your kids.
Here are some other fun activities for kids to check out:
- Family Fun Can Happen Anywhere
- Slumber Party Ideas for Girls
- 15 Family-Friendly Backyard Games
- 10 Trampoline Games for Kids
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