Hiking with kids is good for a variety of reasons and opens up a whole new world to explore. Most of the time can be spent simply seeing, smelling, hearing, touching and, ..well maybe not tasting, your new surroundings. Coming across small wildlife, beautiful flowers, peculiar insects while navigating different terrain is very exciting for all ages!
Sometimes we need ideas to encourage children to explore in a different way. In our Family Fun Hike series we lead a number of mini-games along the way to look at nature in a different way. Our Fall Family Fun Hikers tried a few activities this October in Ellenwood Provincial Park:
A photo scavenger hunt from a caterpillars view on the world.
We took several close-up photos of things we can find along the trail. Each child was provided a sheet and crayon to check them off. Kids love to talk about what the world would look like it they were very small. Get down and close to natural spaces along the trail and imagine where you would live, what you would eat and what kind of fun things might you do?
Meet a Tree Friend
You will need to pair up for this and you will need one vision mask (a sleep mask from the $$ Store will do the trick).
One person should put the mask on while their partner scopes out a tree close by (don’t let them know which one you pick!)
Take your masked partner carefully over to your selected tree and introduce them. You can make up cool names, of course, and any other personality info you like. The masked partner should to know the tree by touching the bark, feeling the ground near, the tree, smelling any smells, etc. Go back to your start point on the trail and remove the mask. Can you find the tree you just met?
Switch places and meet a new tree friend!
Paint Nature with Nature
You won’t need a paintbrush – just your imagination!
There are some blank canvasses that need your artistic talents! Select natural objects from the space around (please don’t take anything something is still using! Like bark from a living tree) and “paint” a picture in the frame.
Please tell us about your experience if you try these activities with your kids! What are your favorite places to explore? Watch for our Family Fun November Hike to be scheduled soon!