Hiking is a great way of getting your kids to appreciate the outdoors. But then, hiking with children can be challenging as their enthusiasm diminishes after a mile or two of walking. Don’t worry though because we have here a list of different hiking games for kids that will keep the young ones happy and entertained along the trail. You may have played many of these hiking activities for kids when you were young, and now it’s time to show your kids how fun these games can be.
Hiking Games Kids Will Love
Before doing any of the following games, be sure to prioritize the safety of your kids. Be sure to keep an eye on them all the time, and choose playing locations away from cliffs, poisonous plants, and wild animals. That said, here are our top 10 hiking games for kids. Enjoy!
1. Nature Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are a staple of any outdoor activity, whether is a birthday party, weekend camping or even hiking. Children have a natural urge to be curious and to explore, and this game will help channel all those tendencies into a fun and fulfilling game.
Being outdoors, you’ll want to make sure that the item to be ticked off the list are related to nature. And don’t be vague as to what you put on the list. For instance, instead of simply saying “dried leaves” you can put “dried pine needles”. The items can also be experiential like “cross a creek” or “hang from a low branch for three minutes” and others.
In any case, be sure to keep an eye out on your kids while doing the hunt. Some kids tend to run off deep into the woods and away from the trail if they think they spot something in the distance that is on their list.
Think of geocaching as a modern-day version of a treasure hunt. Instead of a paper map with a large, red “X” mark showing the location of the treasure, you’ll be using your smartphone and a geocaching app that you can download for free. You can also use a hiking GPS if you have one.
Geocaching is a worldwide game, with people from practically everywhere hiding “caches” or “treasures” in parks, playgrounds, roadsides, hiking trails, and other places. The person who buried the cache must record the coordinate and log them on the website or app. So you don’t have to do any digging or burying because they’ve all been done for you already. All you need to do now is to open the app and start hunting.
There are some things you need to keep in mind though before you go treasure hunting. Read the reviews left by other hunters. Some caches are hidden in hazardous places like ravines, and naturally, you’ll want to avoid going to those places. Some caches may also have been buried in low places which may have been flooded in the previous rain. Some caches may also contain undesirable items. Reading the reviews will help you determine which caches to avoid.
3. Last Word Song Game
If you’re hiking with tweens and teens, then you’ll have a grand time playing this game. The first player starts by singing a few lines of a song then stops. The next player takes note of the last word in the first player’s song, says “you” and sings a different song that starts with that word, in this case, “you”.
4. Spot the Alphabet
These are easy hiking activities for kids that even toddlers who know their ABC’s can play. The game mechanics are pretty simple. One player starts by naming an item (related to nature) that starts with the letter “A” like “acorn”. The second player then goes on by naming an item that starts with the letter “B” like “bee” and so on. The game ends when a player can no longer give an item starting with the assigned letter. To make it more fun, set a consequence for the losing player, like singing a song, doing three cartwheels or by hopping like a frog.
5. Never Ending Story
For this game, one person starts telling a made-up story by naming the characters. The second player then continues with the story by giving the location or setting of the story. Anyhow, each player will continue the story by contributing to the plot. What’s fun about this game is that it can sometimes run for hours as kids keep adding more and more elements to the story. More often than not, kids will come up with the craziest and funniest ideas for the story and will keep you all laughing as you walk along.
6. Twenty Questions
This game is similar to your regular “Twenty Questions” game and the same rules apply. The only difference would be that you’ll be focusing on figuring out or naming items that are related to nature.
7. Follow the Leader
This is a pretty simple game and one that you’ve probably played while you were a kid. In this game, you and your kids can take turns being the leader and performing various actions that the followers must follow. Leaders can practically do anything like skip over rocks, walk sideways like a crab, or even go under tree roots if possible. Leaders can also gallop, step-kick, clap while walking, and do other fun and oftentimes silly actions while hiking. You can swap leaders every three minutes or after performing three to five actions. When it comes to hiking activities for kids, this is one of the most enjoyable.
Who doesn’t love a good riddle? They are not only fun but can also help improve your kid’s critical thinking skills. They can also help with developing their vocabulary and strengthen their word manipulation skills. Naturally, not all riddles will be easy, so be sure to choose those that are appropriate for your kid’s age and mental readiness.
9. Minute Mysteries
Consider this as an upgraded version of riddles, and is played best with older kids and teenagers. The mysteries aren’t very long and are pretty easy to understand, though answering them may prove to be more challenging than usual.
A sample mystery would be: A man was walking down the road dressed entirely in black. There are no lights anywhere, not even moonlight. A car with the lights turned off comes down the road and manages to avoid hitting the man. How? Answer? Because it was daytime.
You can look for a list of minute mysteries online and save them on your phone for reference.
10. Map Making
Letting your children draw maps of the trail can be a fun way to keep them entertained throughout your hike. Be sure to remind them to draw the landmarks along the trail as well. You should also consider teaching them how to use an actual map, as well as a compass while doing this activity. Not only is map-making entertaining but it will also help your kids develop important navigational skills.
Q: How do you make hiking fun for kids?
Q: How long can kids hike?
Globo Surf Overview
A hiking adventure can be a lot of fun for children of all ages. However, you’ll want to have a list of fun hiking games for kids to keep them entertained and avoid a meltdown in the middle of the trail. So be sure to use some of these hiking activities for kids on your next hike. Not only will they make your expedition more manageable but will also keep you talking and laughing along the trail.
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