Hiking with Your Kids – How to Get Them Out & Moving
Spring is quickly approaching and if your kids are anything like mine they are getting restless and ready to head outside. With the approaching warmer weather we are starting to look for outdoor activities to burn energy and provide education while exercising. A great activity that does all of the above? Hiking!
Hiking is fun whether it’s just around your neighborhood or on a nature trail. We are blessed to live in beautiful Oregon – in an area full of outdoor activities and trails to follow. It’s easy to make a hike fun and educational to hold the kids’ interest. Kids are easily fascinated by simple things, and you may just find that it’s contagious! Hiking can be done any time of the year with weather appropriate clothing.
Bring snacks, lots of snacks: Kids like to have something to snack on and it will help to keep their energy up. Fruit, nuts and other healthy choices will provide a nice boost to their energy. If you let them pack their own snacks they will have twice as much fun.
Keep it short: Make sure your hike is appropriate for your child’s age and level of fitness. Start with slow easy hikes and work your way up to more challenges over time. An older child is more likely to enjoy hiking while a younger one (three and under) may not want to walk much at all. Often they are content to just explore all of the interesting things they can find close to home. Make sure you take the time to enjoy and encourage their discoveries.
Come up with fun games: There are a lot of games that can make a hike interesting. Counting objects, singing songs, I Spy and many more. The goal is to keep their mind occupied so they are not focusing on how far they have walked. This works well for kids that don’t enjoy getting out and walking outside.
Make Goals: This is a great tip for older kids especially. Set mileage or hourly goals for a week and let them earn something in return for putting in the effort. Make sure they are reasonable goals – you can always increase them as your kids get more fit.
Teach them to respect and enjoy nature: Teach your kids about respecting not only wildlife but the environment. Make sure not to leave any trace you were there and clean up anyone else’s trash you may find along the way. Learn about local wildlife and point out their homes and food sources. A child that grows up respecting the world around them will carry those lessons through life.
Enjoy the time with your kids: Make it a special bonding time with your children. Your children grow up fast, and as parents we miss a lot of time with them through work. Take advantage of this time to talk with your kids and learn about them. A walk/hike after school can be a wonderful way to wind down and hear about their day. Children love when you take interest in their day!
Do you have some special outdoor activities you do with your kids? Please share them with us in the comments below!
Jessica Wick is one of our very own E3Live employees, she enjoys teaching her three children about organic gardening, has a horse, a goat, 2 dogs and a flock of chickens that also love E3Live!