Hiking with Children
We've all been there, you're on a trail and then suddenly you're stopped next to a child laying down in the centre of the trail claiming they are too tired or too bored to continue when you know their little bodies are capable... sigh...
We try to avoid this situation at all costs! Want to know how?
Train for long hikes - no one can go out and complete a big hike without proper training and little bodies need a little extra training to complete those big hikes. My daughter is 7 and can complete anywhere from 1-15kms depending on the trails difficulty level. Start with a small moderate trail and work your way up to your intended goal distance.
Hiking is about the experience for kids. Choose a hike with a fun feature such as a lookout, stream, lake, waterfall or boardwalk.
Time is your friend - kids are natural explorers so expect them to notice small details you would typically pass by - try to embrace this slower pace and enjoy the walk, look at the mushrooms and lift the logs.
Hiking takes energy. Plan for frequent energy breaks. A tip that works for us is having Elsie carry a trail guide or map and pointing out where we will stop for a snack break.
On longer hikes have a fun trail game for when those little legs get tired; as soon as you notice the first signs of tiredness break out your game! We play story telling games where we’ll each take a turn creating a fun sentence that contributes to a larger story - you never know what sneaky plot twist is coming next!
Hopefully you find this useful! The important thing is to get out there and explore! Children learn so much from being outdoors.