Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Keep kids excited hiking: Nature Friend

Meet your new "Nature Friend".
Once you’ve completed your first hike, pat yourself on the back. You’ve done a lot of work but have taken the first step into a larger world for both you and your children.

To keep kid’s enthusiasm charged, “review” the hike in kid-friendly ways. While you really can’t do this with infants, most toddlers and older kids will enjoy it. One post-hike activity you might consider is Nature Friend.

During the hike, have kids secretly collect something from the trail and place it in a paper bag so others can’t see it. Nothing should be broken off of the surroundings and nothing live should be collected. The item collected is the child’s “Nature Friend.”

Once home, each child makes a “home” for their Nature Friend. They then can give a presentation about their friend, perhaps including a story about how it came to land on or near the trail and what it misses about the wilds where it was collected.

For example, if an oak leaf were collected, the child might build a home of twigs so that their Nature Friend can feel close to the tree she fell from. The Nature Friend might miss talking to the gray squirrel that collected acorns.

Materials: Paper bag, items to make a “home”

Ages: 4-10

Learn about more than a hundred other hiking diversions for kids in Hikes with Tykes: Games and Activities.