Ten Tips for Hiking with Children
Are you planning to take your young kids hiking? Hiking can be a wonderful family activity and can lead to many fun adventures together. You may want to have some sort of plan ready to keep your kids entertained along the way, or you may soon discover that kids do not always enjoy long walks – especially through the hot sun.
Here are ten tips for hiking with children that will help make your hikes more enjoyable for the whole family:
1. Ensure you have some energy stops in mind, such as a lunch stop.
2. Having more than one child on a hiking trip is ideal. If you only have one child of your own, why not invite them to bring along a friend or cousin? This way the kids can help keep each other entertained throughout the hike.
3. Bring necessary items such as a first aid kit, snacks, sunscreen, an extra set of clothing, bug spray, anti-bacterial wipes, and lots of water.
4. Plan a picnic halfway through the hike. Find a nice spot to sit down and take a break. After the kids take a break, they will be refreshed and ready to get right back on the trail.
5. Let each child be a leader of the hike for a while, by rotating every so often. This is a good way to keep the walk fresh, and will avoid boredom.
6. Play verbal games along the way or challenge your kids to collect odd-looking stones. Provide them with a map as well, so that they feel they are participating fully in the hike and can refer to the map along the way.
7. Take frequent rest stops. Keep in mind kids will walk at a slower pace and may tire easily.
8. Give them a throw-away camera to take pictures of creepy bugs or other wildlife they may see along the way. They can then incorporate the pictures into a family scrapbook.
9. Stop by a lake or a stream so the entire family can either take a dip or simply become refreshed by the cool water.
10. Familiarize the family with the area, and as you walk along the trail point out different sights or facts to the children. Make it an adventurous trip for them by pre-selecting items for a treasure hunt along the trail.