Travelling in the company of children can be a challenge just by itself, without including the challenge of hiking and simultaneously keeping your children entertained. Wherever you are in the world, and however far from home, these tips will help you to keep your children energised and engaged in your hiking route, regardless of age.
1. Embrace the Freedom
Employing the use of a bike or scooter for your child when travelling is a fun way to encourage them to stretch their legs to explore, without the boredom or strain of walking for long distances. Using a lightweight contraption such as a three-wheeled scooter that is light enough to be easily transported will minimise the burden of baggage weight while keeping your kids energised.
2. It’s a Bug’s Life
Help your child make up a nature journal to keep them searching for new and interesting bugs all around them. Make it a competition between siblings (or parents!) to spot as many bug varieties as possible whilst on your hikes and record them all in the pages of a notebook.
The more dramatic the descriptions the better, and drawings are a bonus! Press flowers and trace leaves for the ultimate impact. You can also buy a disposable camera and take pictures of your surroundings, focusing on finding the prettiest leaf or the highest hill. You can turn the resulting developed pictures into a scrapbook at a later date to mark your experience.
3. Get your Game Face On
Play games that don’t require anything but imagination to search for different objects or landmarks. Try the supermarket shopping game, or the classic i-Spy. Using recall and memory will encourage very young children to expand their expressive vocabularies while also encouraging some healthy competition between siblings. The more creative you can get, the more interesting the game becomes!
4. Geocache In
Geocaches are a great way to get involved in some global treasure hunt magic. There are more than 3 million active geocaches across the globe in 191 countries across the 7 continents, so you will never be bored. Use mobile apps such as Geocaching to track down the Geocaches in your area, just simply create an account and go.
This is a fun activity that is suitable for the entire family. Geocaches can contain anything from funny jokes to time capsules, as well as a logbook to sign that keeps track of those who have been successful in finding it.
5. Hit your Personal Best
Break the walk down into milestones, and mark out significant places on your maps to get the children to point them out as you approach. Giving them something to look out for will distract them from noticing how tired they might be or how far they have to go. You can also time how long it takes them to walk between milestones and encourage them to hit their targets each time.
How do you keep your kids occupied on a hike? Share your tips in the comments below!