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 these pre-hike activity with children to get them excited about hitting the trail rather than the video game console:
• Color hiking-related pages – For younger kids, find coloring pages about hiking on the Internet that you can print for free. Coloring pages showing children having fun and some of the scenery on the trial often gets kids excited about the adventure ahead.
• Create nature envelopes – Have children cut out pictures of different objects they might see on the hike: trees, flowers, rocks, animals, etc. Tell them that when they go on the hike, all of you will look for the objects in the pictures they’ve placed in the nature envelopes.
• Check out pictures of where you’ll hike – Show them pictures of interesting animals, plants and rock formations they might see on the trail. Photos taken by other hikers of a trail usually can be found online.
• Make or play a hiking board game – You don’t need much, just some clean pieces of paper that can be taped together (though if you have a large piece of construction paper, that’s better), different colored pencils, markers or crayons to draw with, and some tokens and dice (or a spinner) borrowed from a board game you already have.
• Get them involved – Children can help map the hiking route, make trail mix to be eaten on the route, or even construct their own hiking gear.
Learn about more than a hundred other hiking diversions for kids in Hikes with Tykes: Games and Activities.