I am so excited to be participating in Girl Love Glam’s Summer Fun Series! Be sure to check out all the fun projects and activities at the end of this post!
Hiking is one of our little family’s favorite activities. With three children under the age of five, my husband and I have learned some tips and tricks to make hiking with toddlers and babies fun for everyone.
1. Practice Makes Perfect.
Before our first hike of the season, we take our little ones out in the backyard or on a walk around the neighborhood for a practice hike. We emphasize the 3 W’s – watch, walk, and wait.
Watch where you are going.
Walk, don’t run.
Wait for family.
I love to give my children the opportunity to run wild in nature, but not on uneven mountain trails! Practicing these three things on walks at home makes the actual hike much easier. We turn the 3 W’s into an easy mantra – watch, walk, wait – so that our children know exactly what to do with just three simple words.
2. Dress for Success
Dress your children assuming that they are going to be dipping their toes in the stream and sitting in the dust/mud to examine insects. Much less stress for everyone when mama doesn’t have to worry about clothes getting stained or good shoes being ruined!
3. Well-equipped with Water
Little bodies get thirsty fast, especially in the sun. We love our Ledge Hydration Pack. Since it is a backpack, it is hands-free and simple enough for all of us to use. As our children get older, we plan to get them their own.
4. Sneak a Snack
A quick snack goes a long way on the trail. My kiddos love GoGo Squeez Applesauce and they are perfect for on the go. Be sure to pack all your litter back out.
5. Stop for Service
Last year we participated in the Governor’s Summer of Service – got to start them young, right? One of the easiest ways for our five-year-old daughter to serve was to pick up litter on the trails. We looped the handle of a plastic grocery bag through my daughter’s belt loop and bought her child-sized gardening gloves to use to pick up the garbage. Lily loved it and thought it was as fun as a treasure hunt. As an added bonus, she and her little brother were much less likely to litter on the trails.
6. It’s a Wrap
When hiking with the under two-years-old crowd, a good wrap or hiking backpack comes in handy. I love my Moby Wrap for my babies who are still little bobble heads. With my young baby contentedly snuggled to my chest, my hands are free to help my older children. As my babies get older, we transition them to a hiking backpack that my husband typically carries. Our Sherpani hiking carrier has great storage and a sunshade for the babe – we love it! The biggest advantage of the Moby Wrap, hydration pack, and hiking carrier is that they are all hands-free making it much easier to hold other little hands on the trail when they need help.
I hope these tips have been helpful! See you on the trails this summer! Some of our favorite trails to do as a family include:
Bridal Veil Falls and the Provo River Trail
Battle Creek Falls in Pleasant Grove
Bonneville Shoreline Trail
Cascade Springs on the Alpine Loop
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What are your favorite hikes with your kids?