Any chance we get we love taking the kids out on hikes and easy trails. We are for sure an outdoorsy family even though we live in the suburbs. It can be a lot of fun to take the kids hiking because every time it opens their eyes to new things and new treasures. I love our conversations the most when we are immersed in nature. I thought I would share with you some tips and tricks on things we do to make a joyful successful hiking adventure with our littles.
- Prepare. I always give my kids a heads up about going hiking. It is usually a day before so they will be mentally prepared as well. They usually get super excited when I tell them too. I make sure they have a good breakfast or lunch before we head out. Usually, the mornings are ideal to go out on a hike because they are well rested and have more energy. I bring a travel potty in case they need to go to the bathroom before we head out. You also may want to pack band-aids, sunscreen, wipes, and bug spray.
- Snacks. I usually wear one small backpack and bring different snacks for them and their water bottles. It is easy for their blood sugar to drop during hikes because we are exerting lots of energy. I will even bring their favorite candy like mentos to give them 30 minutes into it. This helps elevate their energy levels as well so we can finish strong.
- Slow down. You may want to pick an easier route the first few times you go out. For instance, one mile may take 2 hours because toddlers love to explore and pick up any bugs they see or they are like mine and bring their nets and try to catch every dragon fly and butterfly they see. We have seen baby turtles, snakes,fish, deer, and so many wild flowers and trees. Make sure you go with the flow and enjoy the moment. We also plan to get into geocaching. This is like real treasure hunting app you can download. Once my kids get really good as hikers, we will explore more into this because it takes your hiking to another level. Small steps first.
- Make it a scavenger hunt. You can go to my shop page and download the “my nature” scavenger hunt printable it is included in the bundle I created and make it a fun game for them or I spy would be another great way to keep them moving.
- Positive encouragement goes along way. My 3 and 4 year old just hiked like a 2 mile route the other day and it is by the far the longest we have done and they did amazing. We made sure to tell them how proud of them we were for going so far on their own without a stroller, a carrier, or piggy back riding.
You can have a very pleasant experience going off road with toddlers you just have to be prepared and get creative. Get outdoors, explore, change it up, now go make some fun memories with your family.