Hiking for Kids

Hiking for kids is something that parents who love to go hiking can develop in their children.

Encourage it!

Hiking can then be an enjoyable pastime for all of you. Hiking for kids is not just for their benefit - it will bring the whole family together. Kids' activities are something everyone can enjoy when you make it fun! Have fun with it! 

Let's see some ideas to help make hiking for kids fun...

Hiking for kidsHiking With Kids at the Lake

If Possible:
Start Hiking With Your Kids Early in Life!

bird watching with kids on hikesStart a Child's Interest Early

Start as early as you're able. Point out interesting things along the trail to your child. Let them have a pair of their own binoculars. They can look around at the things they see in the desert or the mountain island forest. It keeps them busy and engaged.

They can spot birds or other animals! They can watch for them! Create that interest...

Make exciting comments! Ask them questions to get them thinking. Questions help to develop their critical thinking! Ask according to their age...

  • Look at that birdie fly up and down and around the tree!
  • Look at the pretty red color of that birdie!
  • What do you think that bird likes to eat? Look at the shape of its beak! Do you think it helps him to crack seeds open? What kind of seeds are they eating?
  • What kind of tree is that? Let's look at that tree! Is its bark smooth or rough?
  • Do you hear that sound? Is there a stream ahead? What do you think?
  • Is there a waterfall? Do you think it is close or far away? Do you think it's around the next bend in the trail?

Build their anticipation!!

Get them thinking!            Make it sound exciting!

Hiking for Kids Involves the Whole Family!!


Prepare for a Hiking for Kids Go-Trip!

Hikes for your kids need preparationKids Love to See Birds Along the Trail!

Plan ahead! Take a field trip to a nearby wildlife refuge. They always have trails. Usually they're shorter, with trail markers to point out interesting natural curiosities.

Prepare for the adventure! Tell the kids about the hike. Help them plan for it and get ready with needed items. Get them involved in the planning!

Often the wildlife refuge has a nature center you can visit before or after the hike. Study the features shown inside. Show the kids so the family together can anticipate or review what can be seen on the hike. Help the kids to appreciate that. Point out what you notice. Again bring questions up to get the kids involved.

How About a Bird Watching Hike for Kids?

kids hikes for bird watchingTeach the Joys of Bird Watching to Your Child

Take off now - on a birding field trip. Go to a wildlife refuge. There is likely one close by - there are many across the country. Get the local bird list from the Center - if appropriate, one for each child. They can each use it as their own check-list. Walk in on a trail. Let the kids lead the way, and set the pace. This is for them!

When you see something, point it out quietly. Have your kids look through their binoculars to spot it. Let everyone identify it. Discuss its markings. See who can find it in the Bird Guide.

It's okay to remind them, from time to time - that if they get too noisy, it scares the birds and other animals away. They'll calm down again.

When you get home, show them how they can make a list of the birds they saw. Tell them it's called a Birding Life List. This may start them on to the competitive edge in this hobby, as well!


The Healthful Hobby of Hiking for Kids

SCRAP BOOK

Hiking for kids can be a creative children's activity. How can you do that? As their interest in hiking develops, encourage your kids to start a hiking experience scrap book.

They can describe their various hikes on different trails. Their field trips are memories for the kids to record. Suggest they draw pictures of the things they saw - on a trip to a refuge or on the trail. They can cut pictures from magazines, that remind them of the hike - and paste them into the scrap book. 

If they are young photographers, encourage their picture-taking! They can put their own photographs into a specially themed album. Or involve some into their scrap book. This project is something they can make their own!

What are their ideas? I'll bet they have plenty - discuss it with them! Encourage them to put their imaginations to work!

BIRD FEEDER

kids can make a bird feederKids Can Make This Bird Feeder!

After seeing all the different birds flying around on the hiking trail, children may develop an interest in the birds they see. You can encourage them to attract birds to your own yard. Get them involved in a project at home to do that.

Kids can make their own bird feeder. Are your children crafty? They can come up with their own ideas! Or there are many suggestions that can be found in books or online. Help your children with the more difficult parts. They can do as much as they are able for their age. Excitement will abound when the feeder has bird visitors!

Here's a couple of ideas...

COCONUT BOWL: Hollow out a coconut, and drill a trio of holes evenly spaced. Thread a sturdy ribbon or twine through the holes and tie them together in the center. Make it more stable by running the twine underneath as well. Make a hanger of the same material. Fill the coconut with some bird seed, fruits, nuts - whatever you need to attract the birds you would like to come by!

bird watching and feeder making for kidsKids Can Fashion This Wire Feeder

WIRE CYLINDER: Get some close mesh. Bend it into a cylinder. Find a suitable plastic short planter - use the bottom piece. Bolt or screw the cylinder of wire mesh to the plastic bottom. Fill the cylinder with sunflower seeds, or similar. Tie 60 lb. test fishing line equal distant to the top of the cylinder in 3 places. Invert the other part of the planter over the top, through which you thread the fishing line into the center hole. Now the fishing line can be used to tie the feeder to a tree branch or other secure place.

The knowledge that their own creation provided for the birds will bring them such happiness. These kids' activities are wonderful to get your children involved in doing their part for making the world a better place. Plus - they will become naturally wired (no pun intended!) for bird watching, for kids will recognize their own part in helping bird life!


TEXAS PARKS HAVE SUPER IDEAS FOR KIDS!

Texas Parks love to entertain kids. They like to help parents who love hiking, to help involve the kids in the family. They love when families visit their State Parks, when hiking for kids is their prime interest.

So Texas provides great ideas for craft activities that include nature and bird watching. Kids can work on these activities at home, or while visiting a Texas park.

DISCUSSIONS

Discussion of the balance of nature is a good way to get kids involved in their outdoors environment. They'll learn that all animals have their place. Teach them about animals that have become extinct. Teach them about birds and other animals that are endangered. Tell them the great stories of people helping endangered bird species and other animals to survive! Let them in on successes.

Let them be a part of helping birds...

Show them how to protect birdhouses from squirrels. Teach them why it may be necessary.

Tell them about how birds can fly into windows. They can be injured or killed. Show them how to help prevent that from happening.

Talk about other animals that are currently endangered, and what people are doing to help them. How about the stories of whales?

What other issues can you think of for discussion related to hiking for kids and environmental challenges?