Make Hiking Fun for Your Kids!

With Spring and Summer, nice weather means more outdoor adventures. Get on your hiking shoes and enjoy nature! Make it a family fun adventure. Your kids can have fun too if you do it right.

Motivation: If you are an outdoor, active person and want to take your children on your adventures, then first identify how to make hiking enjoyable for your child. How do you motivate your kids?

Hiking is all about enjoying yourself and for your kids, to make them remember hiking as a rewarding, fun experience so that they will want to keep wanting to go hiking. Like most activities that we love and want our kids to love too, how you deliver the experience for them will determine whether they become a fan or not.

Pick a kid-friendly destination that entices kids with great views. Hiking to a lake to go swimming could make the hike even more fun.

Hike at a Kid-Friendly Pace:
Children have trouble focusing and are distracted by many elements around them. A hike that takes adults a few hours to hike may take an entire day as a family. Parents may need to keep encouraging kids for example by saying, "Keep going. There is an awesome cave ahead!"

Keep the hike at an easy level so they don't get discouraged after a short time. Giving piggy backs or shoulder rides help keep the walk fun and gives them a break.

Bring a Friend:
As the challenge of the trail starts to build, kids will need some added inspiration.  One way to do this is to invite a friend for your child. Another way is to play games. Some include I Spy; or find the coolest rock, flower or leaf. Bring binoculars to have your child find birds or see far away sights. If it's hickory-nut season, see who can find the most! Find walking sticks for everyone too.

Bring Food and Water:
Have easy-to-snack-on trail food on the hike such as trail mix, energy bars, or dried fruit. Save a good lunch for your destination spot and keep a few treats for the low energy/ need-some-motivation spots. Let them carry their own backpack with some toys or snacks and a water bottle. Food and hydration are key to a successful hike for everyone.

Wear Good Hiking Shoes
It's important that everyone has good hiking shoes that fit well. Since you'll be on your feet for a few hours or more, there is nothing worse than feet that hurt during mid-way through the walk. Your child may become frustrated and want to go back or quit if their feet are hurting.

So with these tips, go ahead, plan an enjoyable hike for your entire family!