19 November 2011

Tips for Hiking with Kids

Posted by Happy Homemaker UK

Close friends know we have been dragging our kids
on weekend adventures since forever

For years our children have referred to it as 'The Prison Bus',
as they felt forced to go

Now that we live in England, the Prison Bus still takes day trips
but with little struggle

One recent weekend the Prison Bus never left
and we found we each twirled in our own little worlds in the same house,
without really connecting the whole weekend

Ever since, our family does something together for a few hours
usually in the form of a walk to bask in fresh air & bucolic views
to rejuvenate for the upcoming week

And with so many public trails nearby,
we never need to walk the same one twice


Digital Camera
Each kiddo has one and enjoys snapping away to their little hearts content
It can significantly slow down the walk but that's okay

Hello, interesting mushroom
{ little hairs highlighted by camera's flash }

Metal Detector
I first got this idea when we went on a path that specifically said 'No Metal Detectors'
Of course that made me want to run out and buy one!
Were Roman coins or pirate treasures buried there?!

Obviously for older children,
my son enjoys finding sticks and turning them into spears as we walk

Walkie Talkies
The kids feel like little spies,
running ahead of us with a 'Roger That' and 'Over and Out'

Walk The Dog
The kids love racing our little Wilson through the woods and heath

The idea of a post-hike ice cream or lunch at a country pub gets them running out the door

Best with a smartphone,
follow the compass and clues for this outdoor treasure hunting game

A Geocache is a hidden container that is registered with the Geocaching website
Varied in size, there are over a million located worldwide
Random items may be inside; if you take something, leave something

I bet there is one near you, no matter where you live in the world
{ see Geocaching.com or download app }

Remote Control 4x4
I definitely wouldn't recommend this if you are looking for a quiet walk,
but my son insisted I share this one :)

My daughter recently took to riding her bike
and enjoys doing it any chance she gets
In England, you can cycle on bridleways but not walking paths

What tips do you have to share?

- all photos by me -

Postscript: I also want to mention Geocaches are in rural AND urban environments. Really, there probably are a few near you wherever you live in the world.

Linking to Sweet Shot Tuesdays



Robyn said...

the life you share is beautiful-and love your old school landy!would look quite at home here in Nairobi!

Sunray Gardens said...

Beautiful photos. I especially love the country cottage, stunning and your dog is adorable.
Cher Sunray Gardens

Pet said...

I'm overwhelmed with the number of tricks and tips. I feel like a primitive walker now, and a hopeless father too :-)

laurak@forestwalkart said...

aaaaah!! i remember those days...when my kids were 'kids' and i dragged them to the parks to hike!! one time justin (now 30!!)...started to bounce up and down on a dead tree lying across the path. little did we know that there was a 'yellow jacket' nest in there!! yikes!! we ALL learned a lesson that day! luckily he only got a few stings and we were always very careful to not step on downed tree trunks again!

beautiful pictures & i'm in LOVE with that hairy mushroom!! :)

Pondside said...

I think you covered all the bases. We did much the same thing when we lived in Germany, but found once we moved home there so many restrictions - not the number of paths (when you say 'hike' out here you are talking about something seriously rugged, even at the edge of town) or rights-of-way, that a knife is NOT something a boy can take on a walk (such a lot of fun with sticks etc spoiled by that bit of paranoia) and that children running back and forth and having fun in a public place are considered out of control. You're at the perfect place for your time of life - enjoy! I love your take on the family weekend.

Kate and Russ said...

Ironically, we're going on a Prison Hike today. Our technique...Pizza Express for supper!

Zosia said...

Gorgeous photos, like from a fairly tail.
Regarding the tips: it usually better to have more than one kid, so that they have company and someone to run around with. You have more than one, so you are covered in that department. If someone has only one, borrow their friend for a couple of hours.
A week ago we had a gorgeous walk on the beach. I posted about it a couple of days ago.
We've never tried Geocaching yet. I think we will give it a try next time.

deb duty said...

So many gorgeous photos! I enjoyed your walk very much. There's really nothing I'd rather do with my family than go hiking on a beautiful trail. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot in our area (maybe I need to look a little closer), but we make sure to choose a vacation spot each summer that's good for hiking.

A Tale of Two Cities said...

I want to go hiking with you--it looks like so much fun! Beautiful pictures!

helen tilston said...

I love all the interesting items you include in your walks. The camera is a terrific idea and makes one observe. Sometimes just roaming lost in thought is also good. Happy trails.


Liene said...

Yes, geocaching! Gets you out of the house, somewhere you have not yet been, and provides the satisfaction of having found treasure (even when you only find a log book). Can't wait until my children are old enough to geocache with me!

TexWisGirl said...

such beautiful scenes. i'd walk with you too!

chris said...

These are some wonderful ideas. I agree, a metal detector sounds like a lot of fun.

Ola said...

really a cute dog!

Ellie said...

You got some beautiful shots there. Especially love the cottage one and the one of the bridge - oh and also the mushroom. Wonderful.
'Prison Bus' - that is priceless made me smile!!!

wayside wanderer said...

Lovely pictures! I always like having a big pocket or bag for carrying my "treasures" home. We are fixin' to head out for a walk here in a bit.

a happy little life said...

Just lovely!!! Beautiful pictures and what nice family memories you are making.
We get out and explore quite a bit, it's just the best!
Happy weekend to you!
XOX Tracie

Ariana said...

Wow, such gorgeous pictures! I have been dying to take a guided mushrooming walk. I think I'll have to wait till the next 'shrooming season, though. I was reading a blog by someone in Italy, and she said that you can forage for them on your own, and bring your haul to the local pharmacy for any non-edibles to be identified. I think that the prospect of finding dinner would be a really fun one for my reluctant hiker.

barefoot mama said...

I'm going to pretend that I am the first comment on this post and say....this is Beautiful, Gorgeous, wonderful, lovely, happy, inspiring, amazing and I LOVE IT!! Thank you for sharing with us:)) ~ Barefoot Mama aka your biggest fan..haha!

Erin S. said...

I love all your beautiful images, and there are some tips for making walks with children fun that I'd already thought of, and some that I hadn't. Thanks for sharing them!

Shelley Roth said...

It is great to see Wilson!!!

Emma said...

A brilliant and interesting blog post!! Love all your ideas and when growing up my brother had a metal detector, best toy ever!! We found all manner of things with it. x

My Garden Diaries said...

Love Love Love the whole list! I have heard of Geocaching but have never tried it. What great values you are instilling in your kiddos...getting them outside to explore...just wonderful. Bravo to you...more parents need to get their kids outside like you all! Great post!

greenthumb said...

Thanks for the tip about Geocaching never heard of it, but I quickly looked it up looks like fun. Thanks.

Kym Hamer said...

I'm going to try that Geocaching thing - beats old fashioned orienteering!

ps...your dog is adorably cute!

loveandlilac said...

Haha prison bus, love it! When we were little my mother used to drag us out reluctantly for Sunday walks. Rather bizarrely, she would walk us round a new housing estate to admire lovely houses we were too poor to ever live in!

Some of my happiest memories are of hiking in Snowdonia with my son when he was a teenager - I think they are for him too.

Pat said...

I love this post. It reminds me of our art retreats that we have in the mountains some summers with 4 very dear women artist friends. One thing we tried on our treks was to recreate something similar to the artist Andy Goldsworthy, a talented British artist who collaborates with nature to make these astounding works. We tried weaving together a "snake" of leaves by poking the stem of one leaf into another, and floating it down a stream to see how far it would go. It took several experiments to make it work but the effort was great fun, and we felt triumphant in the end.

One interesting site I found on the artist Andy Goldsworthy is http://www.morning-earth.org/ARTISTNATURALISTS/AN_Goldsworthy.html, but there are many. Take a look.

flowers on my table said...

Hi Laura, what fantastic memories you are creating for your children. I am very impressed with all the gadgets and gizmo's...very child friendly. As for Geocaching,sounds like great fun! I don't think you need any new ideas, you've got it sussed! Amazing mushroom photo, by the way.

Thankyou for your kind remarks on my last post. Have a lovely relaxing Sunday, love Linda x

Anne said...

Hi Laura! Love all the photos! Great to go on trips with all the family in tow! Following your lovely blog:)

Pom Pom said...

What a fantastic post! Little Wilson is huggable. I like him!
I believe in digital cameras for all, too!
YOU guys are doing it right!

Celestial Charms said...

Aww, Wilson is a definite cutie pie. I love your varied ideas for a day enjoying the outdoors. Makes me want to gather up the kids and go! Have a great Sunday.

Magali @ The Little White House said...

Getting your kids to love hiking is great, but how on earth did you get your lovely dog to like flowers???
I'm not a mom... But I'm a teacher... And when we go to a class outing, most pupils assume from the start that it will be boring, since it's organised by the school... So I tell stories: for example, when we visited the National Portrait Gallery, I had told them weeks ago how Elizabeth Ist who never married was in love with Robert Dudley, but I didn't show them how he looked like... I had to stop them from running to the third floor when we arrived at the museum. Needless to say, girls were disappointed as beauty standards have changed a lot!!!

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Thank you for that lovely tour and for the ideas. I'm hoping when I move to Louisiana that I will have more opportunities to enjoy nature and leisurely walks. It's too hot in Texas to do much and the other seasons are too cold and/or windy.

Daydream Living said...

Morning Laura!
Great tips, thanks! specially the walkie talkie is something my girls would like.
I made your blog Blog of the week, linked to you, hope you like it, Have a good week!
Maureen x

Daydream Living said...

Oh, and I just came back from my 3 days shopping spree in manchester and it was great! (trafford centre, is a mall). I have to say, I would trade Switzerland in a heart beat for the UK.... but lucky for me I can read what it has to offer right here, so thanks hon! Mx

Sara Louise said...

Walkie Talkies and a metal detector could keep me entertained for hours!

flowers on my table said...

Hi Laura, thanks so much for the visit and the comments. Yes I am at my happiest when I am being creative in some capacity! Re. Buble...it really is a good cd, trouble is I have been hearing it a lot being played in the shops, so come Christmas we might be tired of it...maybe! Have a great week ahead, love Linda x

you should be out on a meadow said...

i wish our families could go on a wee hike together.
walkie talkies are such a fun idea! thanks for sharing.
we usually try to make at least one art project using the tools nature provided - rocks, sticks, flowers, leaves... a fun little gift for those who follow in our path.

ladyliberty said...

Eeek! How cute is your dog? :)

4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle said...

I love this post! Geogaching??? I had no idea! The photos are brilliant and I am so making sure we take the remote controls on our next walk. It's hard to find a walk here (a bit dry and sandy) but we do a lot of walking on our hols. We're planning a trip to London in April, can you geocache in London?? Your blog is looking fantastic.


Happy Homemaker UK said...

@4 Kids - I am sure there are countless geocaches in London :)

Daydream Living said...

Hi Laura,
your automatich email said I had to notify you, so hereby....you've got mail, from moi

Hines-Sight said...

Great photos once again. So neat about the box.

Shellee said...

Great shots!! Your location is just fabulous! And what a great list for the "outing" bag!!

Tabiboo said...

What fabulous pictures - I dream of the countryside and secret little walks like that - just perfect.

Nina xxx

❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉

EnglandTripTips said...

Love the way you communicate with your pictures and simple words! A very lovely place to go with the family indeed, yeah it seems you drag the kids at first, thank yous still come later. Cheers! englandtriptips.com