It’s Wednesday again and it’s time to write a new post in collaboration with #Explorerkids. I have to say, I am really enjoying it and this time it will be a 100% brand new post, no translation from a previous Italian version.
A good writing rule is write about your experience: we love spending time outdoors with our kid and we are trying to share with him our passion for hiking. Walking with a toddler is not always easy but we have learnt some tips from our experience and our mistakes we now would like to share with other families.
1. Choose the right Destination. Whether it’s a walk in the countryside or a longer hike in the mountains, always consider how much your kid will most probably walk and how much you will need to carry him in the kid carrier. Unless you are a Wondermum or you are carrying a newborn, hiking miles up in the mountains with +15 kg on your back is not that easy. In my opinion it’s far better to start with shorter hike and always reach the destination instead of being frustrated because you have to change your mind during the hike.
2. Choose the right Equipment considering the weather forecast: it’s better to bring a warm wind-stop jacket instead of freezing, or having the rainboots for the kids if it has just rained. Spend money on a good kid carrier, we tried two different types and won’t have done so many walks if we had bought the most uncomfortable one.
3. Observe the nature around you: help your kid discover animals, tractors, the landscape or anything that could grab their attention.
4. Never forget water, a snack and a full change. Make a small break to eat or drink something, everything looks better with full tummies.
5. Motivate the kids involving them in all hike phases from preparing the rucksack, to checking the maps, from deciding when to have a break to taking photos.
6. Count or sing. It’s a great way to pass the time without noticing how long you have already been walking. You can count everything: steps, stairs, trees, birds…
7. Let the kids walk: we were surprised by our little explorer because he walked much longer than we expected on our last hike in the hills. We trusted him and he really amazed us.
8. Pick up a trophy: leaves, chestnuts, wood. Autumn is a great season to come back home with full pockets. You can decorate the house, DIY or just play.
9. Take the kid’s time but keep an eye on yours. You are not running a marathon so first of all you have to enjoy the time you are all spending together. But if you are running too late, consider putting your toddler in the kid carrier for a while. Observe and adjust to the situation (keep in mind you are the adult).
10. When you are arrived, pay a compliment. Altogether you did it and it’s important to acknowledge the result. Now it’s time to play and relax. We especially love to choose a destination with a playground or to look for a playground on our way home.
Do you have any other tips for a successful hike with kids? Looking forward to your comments and ideas.
Be Prepared (and Enjoy) Lord Baden Powell.