Generally, exploring and discovery is enough for kids, but sometimes even they can grow bored with that and become restless. Remember that they naturally 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. Among them is “When You Hear Train."
Have children line up single file; then pick a sound, such as a bird singing or a snapped twig. When the person in the lead hears it, that person goes to the back. The goal is to not be at the front of the line when the group reaches a certain destination. Works best with a group of young elementary school kids.
Materials: None needed.
Ages: 5 and up.
Read more about day hiking with children in my guidebook Hikes with Tykes.