Taking your children day hiking can be an amazing experience for them. Your children will be able to explore a new locations, see wild animals, birds, plants and interesting flora that will help them to build their world knowledge.
Children learn by interacting with the things around them and by being taught about the things around them. Hiking allows your child to experience both through physical contact and observation.
There are many benefits to taking your child day hiking, and it’s easier to do than you think!
The Benefits Your Children Get with Day Hiking
There are many advantages hiking can provide for your child. You want your child to be happy and safe, but also experience the world around them. Hiking with you is just one of the ways to achieve this!
#1: Social Activities
Hiking with your children makes it fun social activity for them. Talking, conversing, and discussing what they see, how they feel, and giving them the ability to ask questions helps their development. Socializing is an important aspect of a child’s life since talking with you is how they learn to interact with their friends and grow into healthy socialized teens and adults.
If you notice your child becoming quiet and keeping to themselves, engage them first, and they will usually pop out of their shell. Ask them about what plants they like or about any animals they may have seen. You can even collect pretty rocks to take back home with you as a souvenir.
#2: Educational Experience
Education is something we don’t think much about when having fun, but in those summer months and breaks from school, children lose a lot of information they’ve learned from the academic year. Hiking can provide a child with an educational experience that will house themselves in memories.
Before hitting the hiking trail, look up and print the plants and animals in the area ahead of time! Teach your child about the land you are hiking and how it has developed over time. Teach them the history in the area, the native plants, and wildlife, and play games with them to engage their brains.
#3: Confidence Boost
Confidence is important for young children. It helps develop that healthy self-esteem they need as they turn into into teenagers and adults. Increasing confidence is crucial for children, so listen to them talk and answer their questions honestly.
When you are talking about something in the area, ask them what they think and then discuss it together. Help them think critically about the information and assist them to the right answer to help their confidence levels rise. This will also make children smile more and strut proudly.
#4: Physical Exercise
Exercise is lacking in kids nowadays, and it’s more important than ever to get your kids active. Hiking is a fantastic way to get your children to walk, jog and play outdoors. Get away from the electronics (including you) and have fun with your kids.
Exercising with your children will help them gain the knowledge of exercise, physical activities, the outdoors, and how to be healthier. Spending time with your kids outdoors also helps children to become more interested in the outdoors and willing to be more active outside of the house.
#5: Emotional Activity
Day hiking is emotional in the sense that children gain happiness when involved in outdoor activities. The sunshine gives a boost to children’s immune systems, helps absorption of Vitamin D, and releases dopamine in the brain (which can make you happy).
Besides the sunshine, you are interacting and bonding with your child which will make them happy and excited, helping to balance moods in your kids naturally with exercise.
How to Day Hike with Your Kids
Day hiking with your children is very easy to do. Make sure you bring plenty of water, snacks, and be prepared to talk and you’re already halfway there!
#1: Plan a Picnic
Plan a picnic with your children. Make sure to talk to them about what you should eat, drink, and snack on (choosing healthy options are best for hydration and no sugar crashing), and have them help you pack it up.
Having your children assist you in packing a picnic will get them interested in the activity and already boost their excitement levels for the hiking trip.
Make sure to bring plenty of water when hiking. You’ll want at least two bottles per person, and you should avoid soda and sugary drinks.
#2: Ready the Stroller
If your children are young, then you may want to bring a stroller designed for a day hiking trail. The stroller will provide your kids with a place to sit and relax if they become too tired and need to rest. The stroller is also a smart idea if you have a baby with you and need a place for them to relax out of the sun.
Most strollers have a basket underneath or behind the seats where you can stash drinks, snacks, changes of clothes, a diaper bag, and some toys if needed.
#3: Pack a First Aid Kit
The first aid kit is essential. Your child or children can fall when they are excited, and they may skin their knees or hands. The kit should include bandages, antibacterial wipes or wound wash, gauze pads, tweezers, ointment, and Aloe Vera cream for burns. Make sure you pack sunscreen for your hiking first aid kit.
#4: Hike at Your Child’s Pace
You may find this difficult but allow your children to lead. If they trail behind, they aren’t having much fun. Allow them to run a little ways ahead and find some things to show you. Make sure they’re within sight and make sure they have a marker to stop at.
Allowing your child to lead the way will help to boost their confidence, will make them excited to see what’s ahead and tell them that you trust them to listen to you. Hike with your children and enjoy the experience.
#5: Celebrate at the Top
Once you reach the top of your hike, celebrate. Cheer with your children and play with them. They’ve achieved a hike to the top and finished with flying colors! Use this time to give them a sweet snack or something they aren’t usually allowed to have as a surprise! Make sure they know they did an excellent job!
Enjoying Your Time Together
Enjoy your hike with your children, no matter the length or the time it takes. Use the time you have with them to build them up and boost their self-esteem; bond with your children and let them know you are listening and you care about them.
How do you spend time with your children? Have you hiked with your kids before? Was it an easy task?
About the Author
Shirley is the proud mother of two beautiful children. She has been writing informational blog posts for parents for a few years now and hopes she can help with your questions and concerns with parenting. You can visit her blog at TopTenStrollers or follow on twitter @shirley_ttsblog