Read my earlier posts here:
- Tips for Making Backyard Play More Fun
- Tips for Connecting with Nature in your Neighborhood
- Tips for Finding Nature on Vacation
- Babywearing in Nature
- Giving Kids Nature-Inspired Gifts
I have no interest in raising little clones of my husband and I. I fully realize that my sons will develop interests and nurture talents that are different from my own. But I have found that being outside is a great equalizer. Long before we had kids, my husband and I discovered that we both really enjoyed hiking and camping. We grew up doing those things with our own parents and have fond memories of great family time in the outdoors.
So naturally, we didn't want to stop hiking and camping just because we have young children. So we bring them along on these adventures. And we have found that they thrive joining in the fun.
|Hitting the trail at TC Steele State Historic Site|
Regardless of what you enjoy doing outside, look for ways to involve your children. If you love to ski, enroll your kids in ski school on your next trip, perhaps they'll enjoy it too! If you love to bike, invest in a bike seat or trailer so that your kids can come. I've read posts about kids rock climbing, snow shoeing, and scuba diving.
A lot of children love to try new things and are always up for an adventure. But I know my oldest son can be a bit timid when he's forced outside his comfort zone. Here are a few pieces of advice if you're worried your kids won't enjoy your favorite hobby:
- Start slowly. In other words, don't plan a 4-hour hike your first time out. Or camp in your backyard one night to test things out.
- Show your kids a YouTube video to introduce them to a new activity. I have a friend who often does this with her toddler, with great success. Many kids are visual learners, especially at a young age. This may help them to conquer their fears.
- Don't give up. I remember that our son got pretty fussy toward the end of our first family hike. But we tried again a few weeks later, and he did much better.
- Keep it relaxed and fun. If you're having a good time, chances are your kids will too.
- Things I Learned While Camping with a Toddler
- Camping with a Toddler Must-Have Items
- Improvements to the Indiana State Park Camping Reservation System
- Trip Report: Camping at Warren Dunes State Park (Southwest Michigan)
- Camping at Brookville Lake (Southeast Indiana)
- Hike at Tangeman Woods (Columbus, Indiana)
- Hike at T.C. Steele State Historic Site (Brown County, Indiana)
- Hike at Sodalis Nature Park (Plainfield, Indiana)
- Hiking at Brown County State Park (Nashville, Indiana)
- Hike at Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge (Seymour, Indiana)
- Hike at Indiana Dunes State Park (Northwest Indiana)
- Trip Report: Red River Gorge, Kentucky
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