3 Tips to Consider for Your Next Hiking Adventure With Kids
To say the world is big would be a huge understatement — the Hawaiian island of Oahu is 597 square miles just by itself! And with there being so much to see, it’s always great to get outside and experience all that nature has to offer. No matter the season or weather, hiking is a great opportunity to get in touch with nature, learn more about the environment, and just breathe in some fresh air. But when you going hiking with kids, you may find it to be a little more difficult. So to help ensure your next hiking excursion with your kids is a success, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
First, it’s important to go over some safety rules with your kids. When out in the woods, it’s important for kids to always be within sight of an adult so they don’t get lost. It can be a good idea to give each child a safety whistle to carry so if they do get lost or hurt, they can blow the whistle and be found easier. It’s also a smart idea to always carry a first-aid kid whenever you’re hiking, with or without kids. It can be all too easy to trip on a branch or slip on a rock. And while more than 80% of ankle sprains are caused by the inward rolling of the ankle, it’s important to be prepared for both minor and serious injuries. Having a first aid kit and teaching kids about safety rules to follow can make sure everyone stays safe while having fun.
It’s also a good idea to plan to spend more time than usual outside while hiking with kids. Kids get tired and cranky pretty easily, so plan for more frequent stops than usual. By taking a lot of small breaks for hydration and snacks your kids are more likely to be happy and energized. Instead of pushing your kids to go for long stretches without breaks, you can keep your kids excited and motivated by telling them when the next break will be and what will come after the break. While regular play as kids is a major part of the development of at least 400 genes in the cerebral cortex, running around all day won’t do too much good if the kids get burnt out. So make sure to take some time to rest and re-energize.
And lastly, make sure to make the hiking experience fun. Let them be involved in the planning — packing their bags and looking at the map can be a lot of fun to start. And while you’re out and about, consider partaking in a game of Eye Spy or give kids a list of leaves or birds to look for. And when you’re choosing final destinations, you may want to consider places where kids can climb on boulders or skip rocks rather than destinations with pretty views. You can pick a trail that has Geochaching options, which is a great way to keep the kids involved. Making it fun will help instill a love of hiking in your kids early on.
Hiking is a great activity for the entire family. And by keeping these simple tips in mind, you can ensure the whole family, especially the kids, have a great experience.