Thursday, February 20, 2014

Fun game for kids on hike: Squirrel Food

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. Among them is Squirrel Food.

When on an out-and-back hiking trail, have each child collect 10 acorns. Then have each child set an acorn in the middle of the trail. Ten steps later, have each child again set an acorn in the middle of trail. Ideally, each child will place their acorn in the same position, such as youngest to oldest going right to left in a single line. Continue placing acorns until all are gone.

On the return hike, have children see if a squirrel took their acorn for food. If you want to turn it into a game, have each child keep track of how many of their acorns went missing.

This activity is a great opportunity to teach about squirrels or the food chain, so parent may want to read up on them before setting out on the trail.

Of course, this activity works best in autumn when squirrels are storing food for the winter.

Materials: Acorns, possibly small bags so small children can more easily carry their acorns

Ages: 3 and up

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