One of the most fun parts of going hiking is choosing a route. Have your children help pick a trail and teach them the importance of asking the right questions when deciding on a route: How busy and safe is the trail? Will there be wildlife? Are there places to rest along the way? How long is the trail?
You can also guide your child’s interest by researching some of the plants and animals you may encounter along the way. This will help keep your kids engaged throughout the hike.
When you begin your hike, keep in mind that this isn’t just a walk; it’s an opportunity for you and your kids to explore nature. Be sure to make stops along the way to rest and refuel. You might even want to stop for a leisurely lunch picnic, so come prepared with snacks, sandwiches and drinks.
Depending on where you hike, you may be able to collect some souvenirs along the way, such as pinecones or rocks. Research park rules beforehand and teach your children to do the same. Keep younger explorers interested by encouraging them to keep their eyes out for plants or animals they researched with you. You can even get them an inexpensive disposable camera and have them take pictures for a scrapbook of memories.
Another way to get your children involved is by having them map out the path for your family and leading the group. This will teach your kids a sense of responsibility and give them a chance to develop some leadership skills.
Hiking is a great way to build your family bond, engage your children in a natural activity and start living a healthy lifestyle. Make hiking a weekly or monthly event and choose a different route and landscape every time. It’s a fun way to relieve stress and promotes physical and mental health.
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