Friday, January 11, 2013

Game for drive to trailhead: Catch a Wave

Once you’ve got your children excited about the hike, you next have to get them to the trailhead, probably in a motor vehicle. Sometimes those drives to a national forest, nature preserve or state park can be long. You can keep kids’ spirits up by playing games on the drive there.

One tried and true children’s game is Catch a Wave.

If there’s a fair amount of traffic on the road to your trailhead, play variations of the wave-at-other-vehicles game. With younger children, have them take turns waving at a passing vehicle. If the person waves back or smiles (should you be going slow enough to see a smile), that child earns a point. For older children, have them also take turns waving at vehicles, but they garner more points based on the vehicle’s color: 3 points for a black vehicle, 2 for red, 1 for all other colors. In either variation, first to reach or go over 10 points wins. To inject a little nature into the game, vehicles driven by forest rangers are wild cards and garner 5 points.

Materials: None

Ages: 3 and up

Read more about day hiking with children in my Hikes with Tykes guidebooks.