Hiking with kids: Tips and tricks to make hiking fun for the whole family

For many nature lovers enjoyment of the outdoors originates from childhood experiences spending time outside with family and friends. Outdoor passions such as hiking can be passed from parent to child. Hiking can include long days in the sun, inclement weather and tiring exercise, which are not always conducive to making happy kids.

Despite its challenges, hiking is a fun and educational way for a family to leave the Wi-Fi connection behind, explore nature, spot wildlife and spend quality time together. While explorations into nature can be daunting for parents with young children, there are specific things families can do to make hiking enjoyable for all ages.

Parents should begin hiking with their children on shorter hikes and build up to longer adventures depending on their children’s ages and abilities. Knowing a route ahead of time also can help parents communicate clear information and expectations to their children.

Kids do really well when they understand their expectations and have a basic itinerary. They are similar to adults. If you tell them we are going to climb up this hill, and it is going to hurt a little, but then we are going to take a break and rest, they handle it very well.

While parents can provide clear expectations to their children before a hike, there are also games and activities parents can use to distract their kids from the less comfortable elements of hiking.

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