Hiking is a fun and rewarding adventure in itself. That said, when children are a part of the equation, it’s wise to have something exciting planned to keep them entertained. So, we’ve put together a brief overview of some stimulating activities to try out on your next hiking trip with the kids.
Nature Scavenger Hunt
Our favorite among the cool activities to do with the kids on your next hiking trip is a nature scavenger hunt. Essentially, these scavenger hunts entail creating a list of different plants, creatures, or even stones that your kids need to find by the end of each hike. And you can even offer up prizes for whoever can find everything on the list.
For younger children, it might be best to start with a few simple objects like a skinny twig, a green leaf, and an oddly shaped rock. If your kids are a bit older and more curious, you might give them specific types of herbs, flowers, and even animals to find.
To illustrate, if you’re on a hiking trip in Texas, you might provide your kiddos with a nature guide that can help them identify the different types of Texan trees. It doesn’t matter whether you decide to keep it simple or go in a more complex direction as long you and the kiddos are having fun!
Geocaching is another creative way to keep the kids entertained while you hike. The idea is that there are small capsules hidden worldwide with little notes and prizes inside them. A GPS tracking app collects the coordinates of these “caches” and uploads them onto a database.
From there, you can view the geocaches in your immediate area and have the kids go out and explore specific areas until they find them. Once they do, they can claim whatever prizes or notes are in the geocache and replace them with their own trinkets or keepsakes. Geocaching is an exciting and rewarding activity for the kids, and it’s super easy to set up, so you don’t have to do a lot of planning ahead of time.
Sensory journaling is another cool activity to do with your kids on your next hiking trip. While you’re hiking, you and your kids are likely to hear, smell, and touch a plethora of different things. Sensory journaling takes that sensory experience and gives your kids an opportunity to document it in a journal that they can refer to later.
Plus, you can easily turn this activity into a game by periodically yelling “freeze” and allotting them 60 seconds to write down everything they observe in that short amount of time. Not only does this encourage your children to be more mindful of their surroundings, but it also gives them a very personal record of their experiences in nature.
When it comes time to venture out on your next hiking excursion with the kids, we hope you’ll try out the exciting and rewarding activities we mentioned in this guide.