Taking the kids to experience the great outdoors is a normal part of childhood. It also happens to be a great opportunity to unplug and bond while making everlasting memories. Even in today’s world, when we love to be indoors and staring at screens, kids still love to be up and using their energy. We visit beautiful national parks, have camping trips, and even go on hikes through forests and beautiful vistas – being in nature together is a different kind of time together. It’s a more engaged and care-free way to enjoy one another.
But kids today can find the great outdoors to be a little less stimulating than what they’re used to. Our kids are used to instant satisfaction, easability and many options at all times. As you can imagine, walking around a national park might appear, at first glance, to be boring but if they are there immersed without all the distraction of technology, it can become quite awe inspiring. Even if you love being outside, your kids might disagree, and you’ve got to try and meet them halfway. Here are some great ways to make hikes more fun for anyone under the age of 15.
Pack ‘Adventure’ Gear
Curating a love for the outdoors takes a bit of effort, but according to people like Matthias O’Meara, all it takes is a demonstration of passion for the kids to follow along. And one of the best ways to show that passion is to pack dress up items for your kids to make good use of.
Any number of items can go in your bag. Old world adventuring hats and coats, like you’d see in movies like Indiana Jones, as well as a compass or a treasure map to follow. Simply put, if it’s something fun that makes the outdoors seem like the great adventure it really is, the kids will love to get involved!
Pack Plenty of Snacks
Kids love to snack at all times, no matter what age they are. So when you’re trying to get them interested in the great outdoors, make sure you’ve packed something tasty to try along the way. Plus, who doesn’t love a snack when you’re miles away from the nearest shop?
Trail mix is usually the go-to, but snacks with a higher sugar content can work in small doses, as well. Help them keep their energy up, make sure they can’t complain about being tired and hungry, and they’ll keep pace with you just fine along the way.
Make a Game of the Trail
There are plenty of games to play when you’re out hiking, and all it takes is some imagination. Thankfully, kids have got that in droves! A lot of parents like to do scavenger hunts with the little ones – if you know the trail already, you can ask them to bring back twigs and leaves and even bugs.
But if this is a new place, you can play tried and tested games like I-Spy to pass the time. You can also play more involved games, such as ‘what could be at the end of the trail?’, and then ask them to come up with creatures they might find. You could even just give them a ball to bounce along the path, which they can run along with when they need to catch up with you.
Hiking can be fun, and you’ve just got to show the kids how to make it so!