Monday, June 16, 2008

Go Outside: hiking activities

Did you go hiking on National Trials Day? I can't wait to be fully recovered from knee surgery and get out on the rocky mountain trails here in Boulder.

Here is an activity that gives the little kiddos a reason to keep on trekking:

Sticky Nature Bracelet (originally found in The Preschoolers Busy Book):
  • Loosely wrap a piece of masking tape, sticky side up around your child's wrist
  • Have your child collect petals, leaves, small rocks, etc to stick onto their bracelet (this is a great time to introduce what not to touch in the great outdoors)
  • Older kids will enjoy the challenge of finding specific color patterns or shapes for their bracelet
  • Bring extra tape for multiple bracelets!!
Other hiking activities:
  • Research a specific bird, insect or plant that is in your area and hunt for it on your hike
  • Play I Spy
  • Take turns being the trail guide and pointing out funny, silly and imaginary sightings
  • Games like Red Light Green Light, Follow the Leader and Mother May I
  • Give your child a disposable camera to document her hike with
The best tip I've heard for determining what kind of hike to take with small children is to take the age of your youngest walking child, cut that number in half, and that's a reasonable distance (ex. Abel is 2 so his max distance is 1 mile)

(I didn't forget about the ultimate trail activity, letterboxing. I'm saving it for it's very own awesome post. It's that cool.)

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