Kids have little legs and little patience for boredom, so bringing them along on a long hike can be a tricky proposition. While your endorphins may get released from the pure act of hiking, kids may need something extra to get them from point A to point B without a heaping helping of complaining. One of the best ways to make a hike more smoothly when you bring the children along is to create games for them to play along the trail.
I Spy is a popular way to pass the time for young kids. What hiking adds to the game is the ability to change the landscape upon which things are spied. As you and the kids make your way over the trail there will be many things that can be picked out for spying. You can go for colors during the fall when brilliant reds and oranges battled with the vestiges of green. During the spring time the flowers that bloom allow kids to spy things in nature that are purple, blue or yellow.
A hiking expedition can be transformed into a scavenger hunt quite easily. You don't want the kids to collect items on a hiking scavenger hunt the way they might on a traditional party scavenger hunt unless you plan to turn the hunt into a tricky way to clean up litter left behind by those less concerned with keeping America beautiful than you. Hand them a piece of paper with a list of things to find and check out. What you place on the list will depend on the spot where you are hiking, but could include things like certain birds, mammals, types of rocks, types of trees or rock formations. To make things interesting you could even have the kids try to find things like faces in the bark of a tree or figures in the lines of a mountain in the distance. Have the kids point out when they find an item and then you can check it off their list.
Geocaching is growing in popularity as a way to make hikes more interesting for people of all ages. The way geocaching works is that people leave a little something behind hidden in a shoebox or a tobacco tin or just buried in the ground. You get the coordinates off an Internet site and then use a handheld GPS device to go on a modern day treasure hunt. You and the kids go on a hike to find the little treasure that was left behind and then you replace it. The really cool thing about geocaching is that it immediately turns any hike into an adventure because you go into it with a purpose.
Article Written By Timothy Sexton
Timothy Sexton is an award-winning author who started writing in 1994. He has written on topics ranging from politics and golf to nutrition and travel, and his work appears online for Zappos.com, Disaboom and MOJO, among others. He has also done work for "Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of West Florida.