5 Tips for Hiking with Kids

July 5th, 2018

Spending time outdoors has innumerable benefits for children. Recent studies have shown that kids who spend time in nature perform better in school, have increased attention spans, are less anxious and are overall happier. Taking a family hike is a great way for everyone to get some exercise and fresh air, but it can be daunting to take little ones along. Here are a few easy tips that will turn every hike into an adventure the whole family will love:

  1. Choose your path wisely.
    Choosing a nice, easy hike is key to making sure the kids don’t overexert themselves. A hike close to home is ideal as well, so that you can head home quickly if needed. Shearwater’s 15 miles of trails are located just steps away from home, and with so many trails to choose from, there’s always something new to discover!
  2. Create a sense of ownership.
    Kids love feeling like they’re in charge. Let them carry a small backpack or fanny pack with their own snacks or let them lead the family along the trail. Feeling like they’re contributing and helping the family will help them have a great time and be more excited to go again.
  3. Have a special treat.
    The day before your hike, have the kids help make a tasty treat to bring along. You could set up a build-your-own trail mix bar and let each child add in their favorites, like M&Ms or dried fruit. Then you’ll all have something delicious to snack on when taking a rest!
  4. Encourage adventure.
    A set of binoculars, a bug net or magnifying glass can turn a regular hike into a road full of discoveries! You could even prepare a scavenger hunt for the whole family to participate in, try your hand at geocaching or bring along a book to help identify native species of plants. The possibilities are endless!
  5. Pack your patience.
    Keep in mind their little legs won’t take them quite as far as yours and they’ll need more frequent stops to rest and rehydrate. Take these opportunities to explore your surroundings – you never know what kind of interesting plants or cool critters you might have walked past otherwise!

Shearwater offers an award-winning lifestyle that provides plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. To learn more about the lifestyle and amenities at Shearwater, join our Interest List or schedule a tour.