It’s time to put the winter sweaters and snow boots into storage, and welcome summer. There are so many great activities that families can partake in during the summer – boating, biking and hiking just to name a few.
Speaking of hiking – with a little advance planning, hiking with children can be a blast for the whole family. Getting them involved with nature and planning activities along the way is your best option for keeping them entertained while hiking.
Check out some of these ideas for your next hiking trip.
Keep a Hiking Journal
If you have kids along, frequent breaks are needed to keep their energy levels up and their bodies hydrated. During these breaks, have them draw pictures of what they see. Bring along a pencil and sketchbook for them to draw the plants, trees and animals that they see around them. Not only will this activity keep them occupied, but it will also make a great scrapbook for your adventure!
Scavenger Hunts for All Ages
While hiking through the woods, have a checklist of things that they should find for a scavenger hunt. There are a few ways that you can go about your scavenger hunt depending on the age of your child. Colors are easy for younger kids, senses for middle age and more specific and difficult hunts are best for older children.
Rainbow Hunt Game
While hiking have your children find things in rainbow order. You will start with red, then orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. You can also add in colors like white, black, grey and brown if you wish. Depending on the time of the year this will be easy if the leaves are changing colors, but more difficult if they are not. Keep a checklist of the colors that you find and see if they can complete it on your hiking journey.
Senses Hunt Game
Senses are another fun thing to hunt for – smells, sounds, textures and sights can all be added to the list. Have them try to find things like the smell of pine, or the smell of water. Or other things such as birds chirping or animals running through the woods. You can also add in textures, something soft and squishy, something rough like tree bark and something liquid, such as water or dew. This will keep younger children (as well as pre-teens) preoccupied while hiking.
Specific Item Hunt Game
This one is for the older kids, the ones who aren’t fascinated by colors and textures anymore but rather more detailed things. Try having them do some research before you go and finding certain varieties of plants, specific trees and even animals if they can spot them. On your breaks, have them use binoculars and see what can be found around them.
What activities do your kids love while hiking? Share your comments below.
Feature image courtesy of Ann Fisher