Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Fun activity to get kids motivated for a hike: Have them help make a hiking checklist

Have kids make a stake in their next outdoors adventure  by having them
create a hiking checklist.
Even if you’re excited, the kids’ calls to instead buy the latest video game may drown out your announcement that a family hike is planned this weekend. What to do? Try this pre-hike activity with children to get them excited about hitting the trail rather than the Wii console.

What to do? One tried and true possibility is to have kids make a hiking checklist.

Having kids help in the planning can get them excited about the hike while teaching them important organizational skills. Children who help in the preparation for the hike often later feel ownership of the walk.

A hiking checklist can take a variety of forms. It might be a list of all of the things to place in a backpack. It might be a list of the steps to follow when preparing for the hike.

Let children come up with the list then have them guide you through following it. During that time, gently raise issues if they forget items, such as a map or compass on the list of items to pack (“Hmm, I wonder how we’ll know which way to go if there is a trail intersection?”).

Never rely solely on the child’s checklist. For safety purposes, you’ll want to make sure you’re fully prepared and deliberately not bring an item that a child left off the list, all in hopes of teaching them a lesson about what they should have brought.

Materials: Paper, pen or pencil

Ages: 8 and up

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