Wouldn’t it be great to know how to hike with a toddler and make it the best experience ever?
Hiking is a great way of seeing more of the world. Taking a toddler with you is a great way of letting them experience the natural beauty of the world. Also, having fun outdoors as a child is a great way of encouraging them to become a healthier, more active adult. However, learning how to hike with a toddler can be difficult.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do to become an expert on how to hike with a toddler; and make the experience more comfortable for the both of you.
One of the best things you can do is get your child used to walking
Although there are many tools to help you carry your child, it can be very tiring especially on longer trails. The ideal situation is getting your child to walk at least part of the trail by themselves. To do this, you need to encourage them to walk more often. There are many ways to do this. For example, you could take them with you for a short walk to the shops. Also, you should try to select locations that excite your child when choosing where to walk to.
For example, walking to the park would make them more excited than walking around the block. You want to make this process as fun as possible so try pointing out interesting landmarks along the way. Once your child is used to walking, start increasing the distance you walk. When you are confident that they can handle a short hike you can start looking for the perfect hiking trails.
A key part of mastering how to hike with a toddler is to make it fun
Choosing the best hiking trail for both you and your toddler is essential. But how do you do this?
There are a few factors that you should consider when choosing a trail. First, you should consider the length of the trail. You want to avoid anything that is too long. As they get older, feel free to increase the length, but when they are just starting out, keep it short and sweet. You should also try and choose low-difficulty trails. This means that they will be relatively flat with a well-defined path.
Another thing you should try to include is interesting scenery. This can be anything from a river to a lookout. This will help keep them excited as they discover new things. Finally, you should also try to pick a loop trail. If they have to walk to the end of the trail, then turn around and come back the same way, they will no longer be engaged. By choosing a loop, you can always give them new scenery to enjoy.
Now that you have chosen the perfect trail, how can you get them excited about going hiking?
It is important to make sure that your child wants to do the hike
If they aren’t excited the experience can be horrible for both of you, and it may take some time before they want to hike again. Thankfully, there are a few things that you can do to make sure that this doesn’t happen.
First, do some research about the trail online and see if you can find pictures. Look for interesting landmarks in the images and promise to take some time to check them out. You can also read some books on the local area. This will help you learn some stories about the area that you can tell your child as you walk.
Finally, learn about some of the plants and animals that you might encounter as you walk. An interesting fact will keep them invested in the hike and help them learn more about the world. By now, you should be ready to start hiking. But how can you be sure that they will have a good time on the hike?
A few simple actions can help you create a great hike for you and your child
Making your hiking experience as fun as possible is very important. Firstly, you can ensure that there is plenty of water and snacks available. You can use this food to help entice them along the trail. For example, you can promise a reward when you reach a landmark. You can also let them lead the way. When they feel that they are in charge of the hike and can choose what direction to take, they will become more excited.
Additionally, you should allow them to collect things as you walk along. While an odd-shaped rock might not be that interesting to you, to a toddler it is fascinating. Allowing them to take these small mementos home with them will make the hike a more rewarding experience.
Finally, consider taking a carrier for longer hikes. Hiking for long distances is enough to make anyone tired. Taking along a carrier lets them take a break while they regain their strength. Once you have completed a hike, you should have a little debrief to help you both learn from the experience.
After you have finished the hike you should use the drive home to conduct a brief debrief. During this chat you want to find out what things your toddler enjoyed and what things they didn’t like. By finding out what areas could be improved you can choose better trails in the future. It is also a great way of enjoying the time you spend together.
Hiking is one of the best ways to introduce a child to beauty offered by nature
Many parents find the prospect of taking a toddler hiking daunting. But, by taking a little time to consider what your child will enjoy you can turn hiking into an experience that you will both look forward to.
To show you how to accomplish this goal we provided some great tips for planning and executing a hike that both you and your toddler will enjoy. Hopefully, you can use these tips to start introducing your child to the world of hiking. Most importantly, you should have fun planning and walking the trails. So, start hiking with your toddler today.
Have you hiked with your toddler? What did you find hard? What are the best tips you can share?