HIKING WITH CHILDREN - A 3-PART SERIES
Hiking with children has numerous benefits for intellectual, emotional, social and physical development. Surrounded by nature, children experience environments that engage their senses when everything is new and they have an innate openness to learning. In this 3-part series we offer tips that will help you prepare for your hike so that everyone has fun and safe experiences that can be stored in your bank of Nostalgic memories.
PART 1 – FIRST TRIP WITH A CHILD
- Plan a child’s first trip so that it is enjoyable.
- Show the child a map of the planned trip and the progress of the trip.
- Do not walk too fast. Give the child a chance to look around.
- Make the trip short and within the physical abilities of the child. Have numerous stops and points of interest (e.g., pond with frogs). point long before dusk.
- Teach children about the safety by explaining all your activities; for example, how to make the right choice of a fire site, how to cross a stream, etc. Explain the dangers without scaring your child.
- If you fall behind on your trip do not push your child to go faster. An excursion should be well planned so that you can reach your destination in the daylight
- Develop games that you can play along the way. These games should help the child to appreciate nature. Some games are as simple as not walking on ants, roots; seeing wild animals, birds and look for toads.
- Along the way give the child healthy snacks.
- Listen to the child and explain all noises and dark spots so that they are not afraid.
- Explain the hiking environment to the child and the positive ecological features.
Come back next week for Part II – Equipment for a Child