Hiking with children: Tips for planning and motivation
On the road, TRAVEL
A beautiful hike with the little ones? We will show you how to plan and motivate your children.
Hiking with children is a great way to get them connected to the outdoors at a young age. Think about nature, mountains, lakes, greenery or national parks.
However, for some children, the beauty of Mother Earth is not really exciting and they need some help to discover the greatness and to get excited about hiking.
Because hiking with children can be a lot of work. Especially the planning part. It may take a lot of patience, preparation, many tricks up your sleeve, and plenty of snacks in your bag. But it is so rewarding and true family experience and memory.
The moment you reach your destination Mother Earth will show you why it was all worth it. The views, the peace, the feeling of reaching the peak, make all the hard effort worth it.
Summer is around the corner and why not going on a trail? We put together some essential tips for planning as well as motivation to keep the experience fun and lighthearted for as long as possible:
Hiking with children: Tips for planning
Season: The best time to go hiking starts in April and lasts until October.
Time: An orientation, you can double the indicated walking time. That is, if a walking time of 1.5 hours is indicated, you should calculate about three hours with children. Since you will discover things, look, and take several breaks.
Age: Children from around 4 years can already take part in a small tour. If you are hiking with smaller children, make sure that you don’t have to take any steep walls or the like on the route.
Breaks: Plan short stretches and many breaks! Your children will be exhausted faster than you, so be generous in your timing.
Clothing: Layers are essential. Make sure that you take ample amounts of clothing in case your child gets cold while out on the trail. Always bring rain clothes and do not forget hats and gloves for everyone – even in the summer, mornings can be chilly. Finally, always pack a change of clothes for each child and leave them in the car for your return from the trail – chances are your children will be wet or muddy!
Shoes: Make sure your kids have adequate hiking shoes, depending on terrain, this could range from sandals to tot-sized hiking boots. Good hiking boots will keep blisters away, are waterproof, and comfy.
Food: You will always need a lot of water and you should pack lots of light snacks. Think nuts, protein bars, fruit, and sandwiches.
Hiking with children: Tips for motivation
Round trips: Children are curious and real explorers! Round trips are more exciting because there is always something new to discover and it is not the same route as on the way there.
Games: There are plenty of games you can play on a hike. Think about a few in advance and do not forget the classics like word chains or “I pack my suitcase” or counting steps, clouds, or ants.
Goals: Just hiking is rather boring for children and an exciting goal motivates. It can be a swimming lake, a castle or an adventure playground. Your hike will remain interesting in any case.
Discover: Make sure that the hike is interesting for them – animals, rivers, waterfalls, rocks, caves, bug hotels, or farms keep them busy.
Responsibility: Give your children roles on your hike. A map reader, a singer, chief encourager or one who watches out for holes and big stones on the road.