Hiking games that keep kids engaged and motivated on the trail

Hiking with kids can be a wonderful experience that leads to cherished memories. But sometimes, things don’t go so smoothly.

You’re about a third of the way into your planned hike. Everything’s going great. Then, all of a sudden, your 5-year-old hiking buddy decides he doesn’t want to hike anymore. Is he hungry? No. Is he tired? No. He just wants to do something else.

While nature is a great source of entertainment for kids, sometimes they need a little encouragement to stay engaged and keep moving along a trail. Hiking games can help. It’s good to have a variety of these games up your sleeve, just in case you need to switch it up.

For example, Lava is a simple game of make believe that requires listening and reacting quickly. When one person calls out “lava,” everyone pretends that lava is flowing down the trail and will soon cover the ground. To escape, everyone must quickly move to a nearby rock or high point, such as a downed tree, and stand on it.

The game rules might vary depending on what type of terrain you’re dealing with. If the trail isn’t rocky, maybe the goal is to stand on an exposed tree root or reach out and touch a tree trunk. However you play, it’s important to reinforce that everyone must stay on trail. And if you want, you can add a time element to it, counting down from 10 or 5.

Many more hiking games here…


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