Hiking with children can be a special time. For bonding, for conversation and for freedom. Most of the time. Here are some observations I have made from our hiking experiences with children.
- They will moan. All the time. From the moment they step in the car, to the moment they walk back in the door. Where are we going? Why are we doing this? I’m Hungry. I’m thirsty. Be prepared for the barrage.
- They will fall over. Take plasters, alcohol wipes, and savlon. Extra points are given if the plasters have dinosaurs on.
- They will be hungry. All the time.
- They will need to go toilet. And will declare it when the only other walker in the hills is passing by.
- They will go the wrong way. Even when you’ve repeated yourself time after time, a child will wander off in the opposite direction.
- They will climb ANYTHING. A tree, an obscure shaped rock, an impending landslide of slate. It will be climbed.
- They will jump in ALL the puddles. Appropriate footwear or not. It will be tested to see how deep it is.
- They will inspect EVERY hole. ‘Is this a cave?’ ‘Is this an animal home?’ You will find them doubled over at every opportunity, heads squashed into a dark abyss, echoing into the land.
- Their legs will hurt. And their arms, necks and ears. They will have warm eyelids and empty noses*.
- They will pick up every rock and stick. Most will end up in pockets and then in the washing machine*
*Some of the delightful quips my 6 year old comes out with
** PRO tip – Check all the pockets. I have washed numerous snail shells, sticks and creatures stored in leaves.
But, most of the time:
- They will have fun.
- They will laugh.
- The kids will run, and climb and be free.
They will be happy.
And isn’t that the most important thing!
To see why I value the importance of being outside, please check out my post : The Key to Good Mental Health In Children.