We all know how important it is to carve out time to spend with your kids. We also know that finding activities to do with your kids isn’t neccessarily as easy as it sounds. This might be due to the fact that today’s children are so connected with technology. In 2017, it was reported that children ages 8 and under spent 48 mintues each day with handheld devices. What’s worse is that they spent less time reading, or being read to, than they spent in front of a screen.
Find a pastime that requires interaction with one another and no screens. We suggest hiking! Encourage your kids to spend as much time as possible out in nature. There’s plent of information available online, so research kid-friendly hiking trails in or around the neighborhood where you live. Enjoy your time with your kids by making sure that your adventure is stress-free. Here are some tips to help prepare you:
Plan For Stops Along The Way
It’s important to allow for frequent stops. Young children need to rest in order to catch their breath and be able to find the strength needed to continue walking. Depending on how long the hike is and how fast your walkers are, it’s a good rule of thumb to take a lot of breaks. When kids get tired, they are prone to meltdowns. Try to avoid this for everyone’s sake by keeping an eye on the time since your last break and on your children, who will exhibit signs of tiredness.
Rotate The Leader
Give your kids an important job on your hike by making them the leader of the group. Kids are more motivated when they are placed in charge and in front of the line. This will help teach them about hiker safety and how to navigate along a trail by keeping an eye out for trail markers. Let them spot what’s coming up ahead and report back. Your kids will be more focused, putting one foot in front of the next without complaints.
Make it Fun!
We all agree that one of the best parts about going on a hike is witnessing the beauty in nature. Get your kids excited about the outdoors by adding in games and play along the way. Play “I Spy,” guess the species of any animals spotted, or sing songs! Let your kids explore around their nearby surroundings, within your eyesight, after they’ve had a chance to sit down and rest for a few mintues. These games can last a long time and help to keep your kids distracted, making the time pass by quickly. If you’re able to make your hike interesting, we’ll bet that your kids will want to make hiking a regular activity.
Don’t Forget to Pack Snacks and Water
You always need more snacks and water than you think. This is especially true when exercising with young ones. Pack snacks that are nutritious, low in sugar, and energy-boosting. This could be anything from protein bars to trail mix to homemade sandwiches. Oh, and don’t forget to make sure everyone’s HYDAWAY Bottle is filled before heading out on the trail! Our water bottles have watertight seals throughout to prevent leaking, so there’s no need to worry about spilling. Your kids will get thirsty and you certainly don’t want to risk dehydration. Keep monitoring your children to make sure that they are drinking enough water to stay hydrated, but are rationing it out for the entire trip.
Hiking with children doesn’t have to be a chore. Do you have any other pieces of advice to share?