Being outdoors can be great for our bodies and our minds. Moving, getting away from electronics and enjoying the scenery are all great benefits of hiking. Add kids to the mix and some of the peacefulness of the outdoors can quickly fade away. It is important to instill the love of the outdoors and hiking in kids young. Here are 5 ways to help them enjoy being out on the new adventure.
1. Make it an Adventure. Teach them to skip rocks across the rivers or lakes. Use the fallen trees as a fun obstacle course. Play follow the leader and ask them to be the leader and enjoy jumping over trees, ducking under branches and hopping over streams.
2. Make a Treasure Hunt List. Create a list of things for them to look for along the path. Make sure you include local wildlife like deer, squirrel, chipmunk and birds. Kids always love to find water, so add rivers, lakes, ponds and streams. If you are hiking in an area with lots of plant species add in some variety and making it a learning experience. This magical game of eye spy will be fun for the whole family.
3. Pack plenty of food. You can let them snack on the trail. Let them have a snack with they have seen 20 animals. Hungry kids are grumpy hikers! Plan ahead and give them fun snacks and meal to look forward to eating.
4. Find some open space where they can run around and be silly. Some kids find following a path boring, so find some place along the water to take a break and run.
5. Parents don't take it so seriously. Help you kids enjoy being outdoors. Stay off you electronics and enjoy you time with the kids. They will love the memories they make with you if you are engaged with them.
Nice weather is on the way. Get outdoors and enjoy the fun!