Friday, November 2, 2012

Day hiking children often enjoy games and activities on the trail

Generally, exploring and discovery is enough for kids, but sometimes even they can grow bored with that and become restless. Remember that they naturally have shorter attention spans than adults.

Fortunately, there are lots of tried and true activities you can do on the trail that’ll keep kids from getting bored. Most don’t require any materials, either. All you’re doing is giving them attention. They’ll walk forever with you if you give them attention.

Don’t bring toys and games from home on the trail, however. You want to keep your load light, and the more that your children bring the greater the chance that objects will get lost, forcing you to spend time looking for them rather than hiking. In any case, the point of the hike is in part to get back to nature. If your children want to play with their toys and games, they didn’t need to leave the house to do that.

While your hiking games with kids don’t have to be about nature, the trail is the perfect opportunity to teach children about the environment and to develop a respect for it. The trail also is a great chance to develop children’s skills, from counting and learning colors to becoming more observant to challenging their creativity.

For a variety of games and activities you and your children can do during a hike, type “games and activities” into the search engine at the upper left of this page. You’ll find nature-related and non-nature related games and activities. A list of materials and the game/activity’s age appropriateness are given as well. Ages given for appropriateness are general; your child may very well be advanced enough to do the activity at a younger age.

Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.