My girls are mid-west hiking champs. They can do miles of trail without a whimper or whine. But mountain hiking is a whole new beast for us and one that we are still learning how to tackle. This week we have had a few chances to get the girls out on some trails. We have made mistakes, learned, changed plans, gotten better and made some great memories.
So, some DOS for the mountain trail:
- Do bring along a reward of some kind. There will be steep parts that will be really hard for little legs. Give them some kind of reward for getting through the rough spots. This could be candy (as simple as one or two jelly beans) or fruit snacks or something else that they love.
- Do stop more often than you normally would on a flat trail. Don't make them think you are stopping all the time to make them rest. Find other reasons; an interesting plant, a good view, etc.
3. Do play games along the trail. We become found of a princess trivia game. We took turns quizzing each other on best friends of princesses. Example - which princess has a best friend that can change colors to match anything it is standing in front of? If princesses aren't your think you could play this game with superheros, animals, sports, plants, constellations, etc.
4. Do set reachable goals, but even if those aren't met still make sure your kiddos feel the end of their hike is a victory of some sort. We had to stop mid hike on our first mountain hike this week but we made sure the girls still knew how proud of them we were and all the great things we had already seen along the way.
Some DON'Ts for the mountain trail:
1. Don't underestimate how much difference elevation makes! It is a huge factor in how far little legs can go.
2. Don't time hikes around what works best in your day. Time them around what works best for your little ones. We got on the road and when we didn't get to our destination as quickly as we thought we still set out on our hike. With no lunch packed we hit the trail at 10:30am for a pretty sizeable first mountain hike. BAD MOVE!
3. Make them leave wanting more. If you push them too hard on their first trip out the next time you ask them if they want to hike their answer may not be the one you were hoping for. Start small and work your way up (literally if you are climbing mountains!). We learned this the hard way with our little ones this week!
I love that even though I consider our family very seasoned hikers we are still learning new things and constantly being challenged. More about our camping and backpacking later!
This Week's Feature
Not many people think of gardening as outdoor play but for us watering, weeding, planting and harvesting are all just fun things that we do together in the yard. I was super excited to see another mom embracing gardening as outdoor play and her story is very fun! Check out this week's link up from Curly Bug - Digging Up Carrots.
Now On to This Week's Party!
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