Saturday, January 4, 2014

Teach kids to determine remaining daylight

You can tell how many minutes of daylight are left with
just the use of  a hand and some basic math. Photo
courtesy of Bobby Mikul.
Discovering something new – a neat rock formation, a hidden waterfall, maybe a cave concealed by vines – always makes a hike memorable for kids. This also can include new knowledge, such as some wilderness skill you impart about your young ones. Among those easy to teach skills is determining how much daylight is left.

To do this, hold your hand at arm’s length with the fingers “stacked” atop one of another between the horizon and the sun’s bottom. For an average adult male, each finger equals 15 minutes, so if you can stack six fingers between the sun and the horizon, you have roughly 90 minutes until nighttime.

You may want to have your children compare the size of their fingers to yours and determine how many minutes their hands equals. For example, if two of your child’s stacked fingers equal one of your stacked fingers, then each of your child’s fingers is about 7-1/2 minutes of daylight while their entire hand equals about 37.5 minutes.

It’s a great way to teach kids not just about nature but also a little math as well!

More great day hiking games and activities for kids:
g Butterfly nets
g Grab bag

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