You want your kids to maintain an active healthy lifestyle. You want to be able to share a hobby with them. You also want them a little more engaged in the world around them. Hiking is going to tick all of those boxes. But if you tackle it unprepared, then you’re going to find it more of an ordeal than a family hobby. Your body will complain but not as much as your kids. So, here’s how you make it a lot more fun for the whole family.
Mind where you’re going
Choosing the right trail is going to make all the difference. You want your kids to get active, but you don’t want to choose a path that is going to push you to your limits. Just imagine what that will do them. The path you choose should also take into account just how fun it is. Climbing and descending moors for hours on end might sound fun to you, but it is way too monotonous for kids. Try choosing a path that has a little more variation for them to explore. For instance, could you choose a path that has rocky, mountainous terrain, leading to a beach, leading to some gentle woods? The idea of changing the landscape around them is what’s going to make it truly feel like a journey. That, above everything else, is what will catch their imagination. Of course, you should also mind the length of the journey.
If you approach the hike like just another walk, then you are doing more than making it less enjoyable. You could potentially be making it a lot more dangerous for you and the kids. Make sure that you are equipped with the proper gear for the terrain. This includes clothes with the relevant amount of cover based on what the weather forecast says. It also includes finding out everything you need to know about hiking boots. You’re likely going to be dealing with some rough terrain that your kids’ regular sneakers won’t be able to handle.
Make a game out of it
Even with varying terrain, you might have a little trouble keeping your kids from getting bored. When you’re that age, you simply have a much lower attention span. So, it might be a better idea to find more ways to turn the travel into more a game. For instance, set goals for your journeys. Research the trail beforehand. Note landmarks like waterfalls, signs, and interestingly shaped rocks. Turn them into goals that the kids have to spot first. Or use a nature-finding app to see if they can identify the flora and fauna they might identify on that trip. To get them even more engaged, put a little something on the line. Whoever wins gets a slightly bigger treat than the others, for instance.
Make sure you’re focusing on what’s supposed to be truly fun about hiking. Highlight the discovery and exploration aspects of the trip, while making sure everyone is kept safe and sound from the elements.