- Trek & Walk
Do you love hiking? Do you want your kids to love hiking? Maybe you are only mildly interested in hiking, but perhaps you are looking for a family activity that doesn’t involve butter popcorn and sitting quietly. Below we have listed our top five suggestions to make your next (or first) family hike a huge success full of fabulous memories.
Taking the time to think through the hike, possible scenarios that might happen along the way, and packing accordingly will help you create the family memories that last a lifetime. Here is a link to a list of items to pack with you for a safe hike. Pack Safe List
As you prepare, have the kids participate so that they are invested in the fun and success of the trip. Ask them what they want to eat? What do they want to put in their backpack? Talk about what they might see on the trail. Get the excitement started!
Have a Roles
We talk often about visioning in the corporate environment, but it works for hiking with kids too. When a child has an important role in the hike they will be more likely to stay alert for fun adventures. Let someone hold the map, or be responsible for calling water breaks, or maybe they are responsible for calling out the trail markers, or handing out snacks. Whatever roles you come up with, let them know that they are important.
Curb Your Expectations
For experienced hikers this one can be one of the hardest parts of hiking with little ones. Think like a child. For the sake of fun and the love of hiking, be flexible and always ready to leave when it looks like the fun is about to end. Remember that children take smaller strides and can be distracted by fun rock formations and cool bugs. Let the distractions happen and enjoy them. Renting a donkey is an option on some hikes and an excellent way to do longer treks with children.
Hiking is a great activity for teaching observation skills. Games along the trail to use observation skills are fun activities to keep the joy present and boredom at bay. Here is a link to some excellent games for the trail. Trail Games
Another great learning opportunity on the trail is talking about nature. Grab a guidebook on the nature in the area you are hiking and start learning/teaching about trees, plants, and bugs that you see along the way.
At Experience Jordan we share about Leave No Trace on each of our hikes. The principles about Leave No Trace are simple and easily shared and understood by children.
Make sure you have plenty of the following to make the trip most enjoyable for all in attendance. Rest, take frequent water and snack breaks. Food, make sure you have plenty of fun snacks to keep the energy level up. To prevent dehydration, pack plenty of water for everyone and make sure everyone is drinking (this includes you). Dish out words of praise frequently as you are on the path. Load up your camera or phone with lots of pictures. These will be memories to keep you and your children coming back to the trail for more fun family times.
Are you interested in sharing hiking in Jordan with your children? Here are a few suggested hikes to get you started. Another great option is going to a place like Iraq Al Imir or Ajloun Castle and simply hike around the grounds.
The Ajloun Forest Reserve is another great option that involves camping with cabins. There are some great short treks around the campsite.
Now get out there and enjoy!