10 Hiking Games For Kids

10_Hiking_Games_For_Kids

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.

2. Geocaching

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.

8. Riddles

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.

FAQ

FAQ

Q: How do you make hiking fun for kids?

A: 

it is normal for kids to get bored while hiking, especially if they’re used to fiddling with their gadgets all the time. The different hiking games for kids listed above can provide a cure for boredom, but there are other things you can do to make hiking more fun for the young ones.

First, make sure that you choose a trail that is easy and full of features. Some local state parks have trails that are designed especially for children, and they are usually filled with different features and landmarks like streams, interesting rock formations, waterfalls, and others.

Second, be sure to include frequent energy stops throughout the hike. These simply break times where you and your kids can rest your legs a little and munch on some calorie-dense snacks to recharge your batteries. You’ll want to pick a nice spot with an equally nice view so you can have something to watch while snacking.

Third, give your kid a leadership role. Kids love the feeling of being in charge as it gives them a sense of importance and empowerment. When kids are given a leadership role (still with your guidance of course) they feel more compelled to finish the hike.

There are plenty of other tips that can help keep kids entertained while on a hiking trip, but the most important thing to remember is to keep them well-fed and allow them to rest (and take off their kid’s hiking shoes) when needed. When they’re hungry and tired, your kids will start throwing tantrum regardless of how many hiking activities for kids you have planned.

Q: How long can kids hike?

A: 

Kids complain about a lot of things, and hiking is no exception especially when it comes to the distance. You can help minimize their whining by playing some of the hiking games for kids and by keeping the tips mentioned earlier about how to make hiking fun for children. Another way to achieve this is by planning your route properly and choosing a distance that is suitable for your kid’s age, and this starts by knowing how much distance they can walk and how long their bodies (specifically their legs and feet) can endure such activity.

Now the answer to this particular question will vary greatly from one kid to another and will be influenced by different factors (e.g. your kid’s fitness level, how much weight they’re carrying on their backpacks or daypacks, etc.). However, there are guidelines that you can use to determine (albeit a rough estimate at that) how long your route should be.

For instance, it is generally accepted that children below seven years old can walk a distance of at least two miles before getting tired, whereas children older than that can go twice as far or even farther. On the other hand, teenagers can be expected to walk anywhere between six to ten miles. Again, this is just a guide and you should still keep an eye on your kid’s condition while hiking. Although you shouldn’t put a limit on how far your kids can hike, you also shouldn’t be pushing them far beyond their capabilities at the risk of their health.

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.

More Backpacking/Hiking Reviews:

Source

  1. Fun Hiking Games for the Kids, Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts
Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!