Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Game for hiking kids: Why Patterns Exist

Why do lines the lines in this rock formation all point
upward in one direction?
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 Why Patterns Exist.

As children walk the trail, first have them search for patterns in nature: petals on a flower; waves against a shoreline; veins of a leaf; terraces upon a sandstone boulder. This helps them become more comfortable in what to them often seems a chaotic environment. Then ask them to speculate about how those patterns were made or why they would exist. Younger children probably will give fanciful answers, which is okay as the question stokes their imagination. Older children - usually middle school and above - should be able to offer a more rational explanation, based on what they've learned in science and past hikes with you.

Materials: None

Ages: Four and up

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