Monday, May 18, 2015

Reason No. 31 to hike with kids: Prevent bullying

Kids are less likely to bully one another when in a natural environment.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
Tired of seeing your children being bullied at the playground? Or maybe you don't like the way your children are pushing around other kids at the playground? Then a hike may be a good part of the solution.

Studies of children in the United States, Canada, Australia and Sweden indicate that children who play in an environment dominated by physical, man-made structures tend to establish a social hierarchy based on physical abilities, which often means the bigger one wins and enforces his or her will.

In contrast, when in an open, natural area, such as on a hiking trail, fantasy play is more common. Establishment of the social hierarchy then centers on creativity and language skills.

The upshot? Natural playgrounds encourage egalitarianism better than man-made ones.

Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.