How to Hike With the Kids

With technology of today at our fingertips, it can slip our minds just how little exercise we are getting on a daily basis. Our little ones are so involved with the latest XBox game or the internet wars they can get caught up before you know it. The childhood obesity rate is souring and there is a simple and enjoyable solution to the problem… take them hiking.

Kids really get excited when they are walking the trails and come across an animal scurrying across the field or see a stream with frogs singing for their friends. Their imaginations go wild and the look of pure joy is evident on their faces for the whole day. I love watching the children on the trail because they will spot things that we miss just because they are fresh and new to the experiences. But there are a few things you will need to know before taking your little ones on the trail.

One important thing to teach your kids when hiking is to always take more out of the woods than you take in. This means we don not leave trash for others to pick up and if we see something that should not be there, be a good doober and take it out with you. This teaches them to be good to mother nature and the critters whose homes we are walking through.

Most kids are at a high when they enter the trails and can really get ahead of you before you know it. You will need to keep a close eye on them, especially if you are in the deep woods or mountain regions because they can get off the trail or lost very quickly. I made it a rule with my little ones that if they could not see Mom or Dad they were to stop and start singing loudly. We would catch up to them quickly. This worked several times when it could have been very dangerous. Keeping them close will ensure you all leave the woods as happy as you came in.

And, of course, the kids legs are not as long as ours and they tire quickly. I make sure to plan the trip with time for breaks so they can rest, get some water and a snack and discuss what we have seen and heard so far. I also try to teach them about the plant life and what is our friend and what to stay away from. This will keep them interested and learning when they do not even realize they are. That is a good thing. I keep a special snack in the car for the one who can identify the most plant life and this challenge usually never gets old for them.

Fresh air, lots of exercise and a teaching opportunity that keeps them begging for more. What could be better than that.

My name is Joyce Fletcher and I love to go hiking. The exercise is great and you really don’t even know you’re getting exercise because you’re mind is on the beauty of the trail and the company of friends. I have been hiking for years and hope to continue the experiences for years to come. The photography opportunities are endless as there is always something new at every corner. Our children get so much out of a good hike and they don’t realize they’re getting in shape in the process. It can be a teaching experience and a physical challenge at the same time. It is not often that you get these two benefits for your children and see beautiful smiles of excitement on their faces too. For hiking and photography equipment, please check out my website at []

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