Sunday, November 22, 2015

Fun nature games for your drive to trailhead

Hiking fun can begin even before you arrive
at the trailhead. 
Once you’ve got your children excited about the hike, you next have to get them to the trailhead, probably in a motor vehicle. Sometimes those drives to a national forest, nature preserve or state park can be long. You can keep kids’ spirits up by playing games on the drive there.

There are several tried and true possibilities, all of which have a nature or a hiking theme:

Categories – The driver selects a nature-related category, such as trees. Going from youngest to oldest, each child names one kind of object that fits into the category, such as maple, oak, or jabuticaba. The round ends when a child can’t think of a kind to fit into the category.
Guess the Distance – Have one child select an object in the distance – for example, a mountain, a large truck stop sign, or a barn. Each child then estimates how far away the object is. Upon reaching the object, the driver announces the distance. The child who was the closest wins.
Nature Detective – Have one child pick a nature-related word, such as bird. Going round-robin, with the aim of guessing the word each child may ask a question starting with one of the five W’s and one H, such as “Where would I find this animal?” The child who selected the word then answers, possibly by saying “In trees.” The child who answers the question can guess the answer or pass. If the child guesses wrong or passes, another child gets to ask a different question that starts with one of the five W’s and one H.
• Packing List – The first player starts with, “We’re going hiking. I have packed my backpack. In it I have a compass.” The second player then repeats what the first player says and adds an object to the backpack; for example, the second player might say, “We’re going hiking. I have packed my backpack. In it I have a compass and a map.” The round ends when a player doesn’t correctly remember what goes in the backpack or lists an object that wouldn’t go in it for a hike, such “a video game.”
Reverse Spelling Bee – One child spells a nature-related word (such as tree) backwards (or as e-e-r-t). Whichever child can correctly guess the word wins a point. The child who gives the correct word then gets to spell the backward word in the next round. If the child giving the backward word misspells it, a point is taken away from his score.

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