ISO Free Entertainment for the Kids? Take a Hike!
You can Start your Adventure before you leave the house.
Look at a map. Plan your route. (I suggest the AllTrails app)
Research wildlife, plants, flowers you may see. (Try Plant Snapp, Leaf Snap or Flower Checker)
Up your game and Create a Scavenger Hunt.
Be sure you have proper footwear, hydration & snacks, sunscreen and protection against ticks and other insects. A note about Snacks. Do Not Forget them (and of course, leave no trace). On our first day-long hike with the kids (they were about 5 and 7), we brought water and lunch, but left the bag of snacks in the car. I’ll spare you the details, just learn from our mistake. Do Not Forget Snacks!!
On the Trail.
Listen. Spot Wildlife. You will be Amazed by your entertained and Quiet! kiddos. On a recent hike, we were still and silent for a good 5, maybe 10 minutes. Why? We were watching and taking pics of this squirrel eating a nut, lol. Yup, that’s all it took.
Do not eat anything that you are not 100% sure on.
Rocks, roots and boulders, oh my!
Hiking helps kids slow down without even realizing it since they need to be mindful of where they step. Create adventures around the “treacherous” terrain. When my kids were young, this entertained them for hours. They made up their own characters and stories, most of the time involving “hot lava” of some kind as we walked the trails.
Have a budding photographer? Bring along an old (or new) camera or phone (for pics only) to allow kids to explore their creative, artsy side. This is how my daughter enjoys her time in nature, capturing its beauty. My son, he is the trailblazer; a Boy Scout with the map & compass.
So, grab your map, your repellent, maybe your camera and definitely your snacks, and hit the trails!!