Hiking with kids helps them establish a lasting relationship with nature and its surroundings. Walking in the wild is healthy for you and your little ones, and it improves mood, memory, cognitive function and promotes relaxation.?
Taking your kids for a hike may be fun, but you need to be extra vigilant and prepared for their safety and comfort to ensure they have a great experience. A hiking trail isn’t completely smooth and straight, as it may contain rocks, fallen trees, and exposed roots. Here are tips for hiking with kids:
1. Double-check your hiking gear checklist
Bringing the right items when hiking ensures a safe, enjoyable adventure. If you have older kids, get them lightweight backpacks, hiking boots and shoes, good quality socks, a first aid kit, and a whistle to call for help should they get lost. Pack enough snacks, water, and other healthy drinks, brim hats for sun protection, headlamp, insect repellant, sunscreen, rain jacket, and other fun items like cameras, binoculars, and more. When hiking with small children or babies, you? (Valium) ll need comfortable baby carriers or hiking strollers for accessible trails.
2. Pick a fun and interesting trail
Your trail choice should be fun and adventurous for your kids. Consider picking a trail with different features and terrain, including logs, rocks, bridges, boardwalks, or creeks. You may also consider trails with animals and other wildlife. Choosing trails where kids can play and climb up and down safely is more fun, exciting, and memorable for them. Find ways to keep them entertained throughout the hiking adventure.
3. Dress appropriately
Dressing for a hike differs depending on seasons and anticipated weather changes. For a successful hiking day, ensure the hiking boots or shoes you pick for your kids are waterproof, lightweight, and with a good grip. Get them hiking hats that cover their eyes, neck, and ears. Ensure their sunglasses have UV protection to maintain good eye health. Pack an extra set or two of clothes for the kids to change into should they get messy when exploring nature. Pack warm clothes for the little ones because they get cold easier, especially when wet.
4. Schedule regular stops
Hiking needs a lot of energy, and failure to take regular breaks to recharge may negatively impact the kids’ mood. Schedule multiple small breaks for the kids to hydrate, eat and re-energize. This will keep them motivated and happy throughout the hiking experience.
5. Engage with them when hiking
Hiking with kids, especially the older ones is an excellent opportunity to bond and learn more about their likes, dislikes, interests, fears, and more. Get them to talk to you about anything and everything. You can even come prepared with questions to help you understand them better. This can help you build a solid, healthy relationship and trust.
6. Come prepared with hiking games
While nature may be a great entertainment source for kids, it may not be enough to keep them encouraged to move along the trail. Come prepared with hiking games for kids to keep them occupied while ensuring a fun hiking experience.
Hiking with your little ones can be fun and adventurous. However, prepare adequately and plan for the unexpected. Use these tips the next time you plan to go hiking with your kids.