Take a Hike: The Benefits and Tips of Adventurous Parenting
When people think of hiking, they often picture a family with dad in charge and mum taking care of the children. What if you are the one who wants to take your child hiking? How do you prepare for this adventure?
This article will explore tips and benefits that come from adventurous parenting. We'll also talk about how to make your hike safe for kids!
Hiking is an excellent pastime for children to enjoy nature. It's also an exciting activity that allows you to spend time together as a family while walking trails and discovering the outdoors. It draws families closer whilst also helping to create wonderful memories.
It is not so much about crossing the finishing line when hiking with children. Instead, it's more about taking in, exploring and appreciating the surroundings - the birds, trees, fresh air, insects, and so on - as part of the journey rather than as an endpoint.
As part of your prep for hiking with children, you must plan well ahead of time in order to make it exciting and rewarding for them.
Keep reading to learn about the advantages of hiking for children and a few suggestions to make it more exciting and thrilling for youngsters.
Benefits Of Hiking With Kids
- Helps to strengthen family ties by allowing for bonding and enjoyment outside.
- Allows your kids to learn about nature: It provides them the chance to discover about animals, plants, and other creatures found on the trail.
- Allows the family to exercise together: Hiking is a beneficial activity that allows the family to work out together as they trek along the route. It also helps children develop agility and balance and builds up their hearts.
- Hiking activities are a wonderful method to improve your children's problem-solving and critical thinking abilities.
- Encourages children to be more self-reliant: As youngsters become more confident in their abilities to make judgments and test their boundaries on hikes, they also develop confidence in themselves.
- Spending time in nature can help you feel better by lowering stress, reducing worry, boosting your heart rate, and raising your spirits.
While hiking with children, keep the following suggestions in mind to ensure a safe and enjoyable trek as a family:
This is a crucial tip to remember when taking your children on a hike. Be reasonable enough to realise that they might not enjoy it as much as you would hope (or at all), and don't expect them to achieve more than they're capable of doing.
It is crucial that you set out early while hiking with children to ensure that you are able to complete the whole journey before the conditions change, be that getting too hot/too cold, too dark to see, etc.
Keep them hydrated
It is always a smart idea to bring a water bottle with you so that your children can stay hydrated the entire trip. It's also a good tip to take a spray bottle with you in warmer weather to keep them cool and comfortable. Spray a little bit of water on their face if they get sweaty or weary; it will refresh them.
Pack healthy food
When children are fed on a regular basis, hiking with them becomes a much smoother experience. This is one of the most essential requirements for youngsters, and it should not be neglected.
Bring along some of your children's favorite snacks and chocolates as well as nutritious food alternatives to put a grin on their adorable faces when they're weary.
Pick proper hiking gear
It's critical to get the right children's hiking clothing. This will not only keep them cozy and safe, but it will also pique their interest in going on a hike.
Provide them with their own backpacks, shoes, water bottles, hats, goggles, binoculars, and so on.
Dress them up in layers
When getting your children ready for a hike, be sure to dress them up in layers, even in the summer. Whatever the weather, they can remove or add to these layers as necessary.
Another great tip is to make sure that they are also dressed in bright clothing, making them easier to spot in the distance.
Check the weather
When you know what to expect, hiking with the kids is a lot of fun. As a result, it's critical that you've done your homework and taken precautions accordingly.
One of the things that should be pretty high on the to-do list is check the weather forecast - kids might initially think it is fun getting caught in the rain on a summer day (for a bit), however, if that then turns into a 'rest-of-the-day' shower, it quickly becomes less hilarious...
Include children in the planning
Get your kids amped up and enthused about the excursion by getting them involved in planning it in whatever way possible - they could maybe help you pack up the hiking gear, or take part in getting the food and snacks ready, anything that'll make them feel part of the preparation for the trip.
Respect their pace
It really should go without saying but just in case: Because children have shorter legs and walk at a slower speed, you must be extremely patient when taking them on a hike.
They will likely become exhausted and the fun will be lost if you force them to walk at the same rate as adults.
Take frequent breaks
Be sure to take frequent rests on the trek - let the children decide when they want to stop, and allow them to have some fun while exploring nature. Make hiking enjoyable for them rather than simply covering ground .
Don't forget to take a bit of time off during the hike for quiet, alone moments with your kids. Explain to them why you love nature and how it makes you feel calm and relaxed.
Get other families involved
Hiking with other families will not only give them company, but it will also make the experience more pleasurable. You'll notice a difference in them: they'll be more energetic and enthusiastic while trekking with others.
Start with shorter hikes
Initially, pick shorter hikes and build up to longer excursions in steps, depending on your children's abilities, when picking hiking routes for kids.
Play games while hiking
Playing games may be a novel concept, however, it could keep the excursion from becoming boring or tiresome. While trekking, ask them to name plants or animals, or solve simple riddles; play simple games like hide and go seek or 'I spy'.
Allow them to explore freely
Encourage your children to be more daring and allow them to roam around a bit. This will provide them with some freedom as well as teach them about respecting their surroundings.
Take lots of pictures
Every journey is a memory, and you must preserve it. You may also teach your children how to snap photographs in this way; it will be another enjoyable educational experience for them.
Follow the leader
Kids love a challenge (especially when they can legitimately boss others around), however, making them leaders for the day, the duration of the hike or letting them take it in turns to make the decisions (within reason, of course).
Talk to them
Taking your children on a hike is a great way to not only get them out into fresh air but also provides an unparalleled opportunity to really get to know your child; let them ask questions that they might not ask, had you been at home, making it a nice bonding experience too.
Celebrate each time you reach a milestone by encouraging your children and motivating them. Let them know that they are doing a good job every time you achieve something.
Sing hiking songs
Good music always sets the mood so make a fun playlist of you and your child's favourite songs to sing along to - it's sure to put a smile on everyone's faces!
Look for family-friendly hikes
To ensure that everyone has a wonderful time, do extensive research and select the most suitable child-friendly hikes. Depending on the duration and degree of difficulty, you do need to pick to be sure your children enjoy it thoroughly.
Choose hikes with different terrains
Hiking is much more enjoyable when the route has all kinds of features to offer - children will love scrambling over rocks and logs, or crossing bridges on these trails.
Children are curious, meaning you should make the most of the chance to teach the littles IRL; connecting with nature whilst showing them plants and animals, etc. that they see along the route.
Repeat the hikes your children love
There is no doubt that trying a new trek once in a while is entertaining. However, replaying the old favorite establishes the tone. If your children enjoy a particular route, do not hesitate to repeat it.
Be a child
When you're out with your kids on a family adventure, don't be afraid to break out the kid in you. This will make the journey more enjoyable and memorable for everyone, allowing your hiking partners and children to enjoy your company.
Don’t be adamant about finishing it
Occasionally, you may get it wrong and misjudge the length of the trek with your child not being able to finish it. It's not a problem - if need be, end the trek early. Instead of making a fuss about it, tell them that it's alright if you have to cut things short and that you can always come back to finish it another day.
You can make every trek with your children a fantastic experience by following these guidelines. Have them examine nature whenever possible and play games while walking to keep them occupied - Happy trails!