Sunday, January 11, 2015

Fun game for hiking kids: Knot Races

Photo courtesy of Photoree.
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 Knot Races.

This game teaches kids to tie a variety of knots, a useful skill when hiking, camping rock climbing, or during emergencies. Begin by acquiring information about how to tie different types of knots, either online or in outdoors-related books. You should familiarize yourself with how to tie at least one kind. Next, on your walk bring extra pairs of shoelaces, preferably those that will work for hiking boots and that are about 36 inches long.

During a rest break, distribute a shoelace to each child. Spend a few moments teaching them how to tie a specific kind of knot. Make sure they practice.

At the next rest break, have the children tie the knot in their shoelace. They can race against one another either in a one-on-one elimination tournament, go round robin, or so who is the quickest in a large group.

Later, as children learn to tie several different knots, the game can become more complex as you call out which kind of knot they must tie to win the race. Tying the wrong knot, even if finishing first, is disqualification.

Materials: Information about knots, shoestrings

Ages: 6 and up

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