Rob Bignell's Blog – December 2011 Archive (6)

Hiking activity with kids: Scavenger hunt

Exploring and discovery comes naturally enough for kids, but sometimes even they can grow bored and become restless. Remember that they have shorter attention spans than adults. Fortunately, there are lots of tried and true activities you can do on the trail that'll keep kids from getting bored. The scavenger hunt is one such activity.

Look for items either using adjectives (find something circular, fuzzy, rough, black, etc.) or make cards in advance.

Kids can create their…


Added by Rob Bignell on December 15, 2011 at 9:00am — No Comments

Trail Mix Recipe: Kiddie Mix Gorp

Have kids help you make homemade trail mix, also known among backpackers as gorp. Here's how to make a kiddie mix variety of gorp. You'll need 4 cups of Chex cereal, 1/2 cup of dried fruit bits (apple chips, banana chips, or dried cranberries), 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup salted peanuts, and 1/2 cup M & Ms. Mix it in a large bowl or pour into a gallon-size re-sealable zipper bag and shake.

Read more about day hiking with children in my guidebook…


Added by Rob Bignell on December 13, 2011 at 10:31am — No Comments

Keep your child comfortable on a hike by layering clothes

On all but the hot, dry days, you and your children should wear multiple layers of clothing that provide various levels of protection against sweat, heat loss, wind and potentially rain. Layering works because the type of clothing you select for each stratum serves a different function, such as wicking moisture or shielding against wind. In addition, trapped air between each layer of clothing is warmed by the child’s body heat. Layers also can be added or taken off as…


Added by Rob Bignell on December 9, 2011 at 9:00am — No Comments

After the hike activity with kids: High point, low point

Ask your kids what were the highlights and the boring parts or disappointments during the hike. You may be surprised by what they say. It’ll also help you make the next hike even better.

Such activities make a memorable end to a day hike. To keep kid’s enthusiasm charged, “review” the hike in kid-friendly ways. While you really can’t do this with infants, most toddlers and older kids will enjoy it.

Read more about day hiking with children in my guidebook…


Added by Rob Bignell on December 8, 2011 at 9:09am — No Comments

Another good reason for kids to hike: Develop character and skills

On the trail, children can learn patience, goal setting, self-sufficiency and self-confidence, all while increasing their attention spans, so challenged these days by fast-moving, action-packed television programs and video games. The physical challenge of the journey and of reaching a summit or an incredible destination generates a supreme sense of achievement in adult and child alike.

Hiking encourages creative, imaginative play. The television set and today's video games…


Added by Rob Bignell on December 7, 2011 at 8:03am — No Comments

Trail activity with kids: Tape collection

Give each child a piece of duct tape tacked to a piece of cardboard with the sticky side exposed to the elements. When the kids see something interesting, let them stick it to the duct tape. It keeps kids looking for stuff to put on the tape and makes for a good conversation starter later. Having said this, beware that one of the rules of the trail is to leave things as they are. Still, I can’t see any harm in pulling up a single blade of grass or picking an acorn off the trail if the end…


Added by Rob Bignell on December 2, 2011 at 9:04am — 3 Comments

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