How to Get Youth Interested in Hiking
Getting your child or children interested in new activities requires some thoughtful planning. The same is true for hiking. Engaging children with nature and being outdoors at a young age is an important step for them to develop a life-long positive relationship with the environment. Taking your children with you to explore hiking trails is a great way to get them interested in hiking.
Easing into Hiking
One way to ease your children into hiking is to combine technology and the outdoors. There are several different apps that you can use that are informative and encouraging to guide your children into hiking. Some apps will show your progress along a hiking trail, which can be fun and motivational for children to use.
When you explore hiking trails, look for trails that offer geocaching. This can be an entertaining blend of using technology but still getting all the benefits of hiking. Some trails participate in geocaching. You can download an app for this and join the search. Geocachers follow clues to seek hidden containers, which are called geocaches.
Making Hiking a Social Activity
Inviting other children to join you on the hike is another way to encourage young children to participate in hiking. Explore hiking trails that are easy to navigate with a group. If you are having to walk single file, it will diminish the fun of having friends with your child. Often when children are with their friends they will begin exploring on their own.
Explore hiking trails that will show your children success. Though you might want to challenge your child, the first attempts at hiking should be at your child’s level. If you are looking for a strenuous or challenging hike, you may have to reschedule. These hikes with your children are about exploring and learning.
It is important to recognize success along the route. If you just climbed a hill, stop and enjoy the view. While you are resting, provide snacks and water to revitalize your child.