The first time we went for a hike with both of our girls, I strongly contemplated throwing myself off a cliff. I get it, if you think that hiking with kids doesn’t really sound as the best way to spend time with the family. But our recent endeavor convinced me that it can be a pleasant activity. If done right. Not convinced? Let’s look at our tips.
Which should basically be the rule of thumb when it comes to anything kids related. Despite the fact that they can jump and run around the house seemingly for hours on end, when presented with a task of walking up hill, their energy level deflates with every step. Expect them to be tired 10 minutes into your hike.
Chose something simple, preferably with a treat at the top. No, nice view isn’t it.
Make it interesting
Hiking is boring. We at least have one thousand problems to occupy our thoughts, their problem is one – being made to just boringly walk. Ask them questions, show them things around you, promise those treats when they get to the top, bring friends, sing songs, let them lead the way, have them carry sticks, collect pine cones…
Nature can be a great alley – use the help.
There really are many possibilities and they will take your mind off stupid things too.
If you read that it takes 30 minutes to reach the top of the summit, don’t buy it. I need 5 minutes to walk from our home to my daughter’s day care center, it takes us at least 15 to get back, along with around 3 stops and a bagel. 30 minutes is for the pros, people without the kids and with the stamina of a 25 year old athlete. It’s not even for me alone, unless I had Daniel Craig waiting for me at the top.
At least double the time required to get to the top.
Never go empty handed
If you asked my kids to say the first thing that pops into their mind when they hear the word Mom, I bet it would be food. The second I come to pick them up, they are all over me, searching for it. Experience has taught me to never take my kids anywhere without food and drinks. And since hiking is boring, they will think of food every five steps. To keep it interesting offer sandwiches at the top, fruit along the way, cookies at certain stops,…and nothing is better than warm tea.
While you are packing always bring a change of clothes – you can not even begin to imagine everything that go wrong.
Relax. With kids even the best laid plans can go awry. Don’t over plan, don’t keep checking your watch and don’t push. Make it a fun and interesting experience that benefits the whole family.
And how do you choose the right summit? By answering how much time you are ready to walk, how steep, how high and what is on top.
Cool Kidz Tip:
To make it worthwhile pick a hike with a mountain hut at the top. You get to have a well deserved drink or indulge in some delicious food – completely guilt free. And most of them have a playground for kids to entertain themselves while you enjoy the views.
Take a second…