Family, Kids, Resources

Great Nature Hike Idеаѕ fоr Kidѕ

Handy Techniques for the Great Outdoors

By Pam Bevins

When I want to do some serious hiking; I mean pushing myself to go at a faster pace, scrambling up mountainsides, down & back up over rolling hills, climbing over & navigating around fallen trees, taking another step every time my leg muscles scream for me to stop; I make sure I’m not taking young children along with me. There’s hiking and then there’s hiking. Most of you who enjoy a rigorous pace of hiking & backpacking know what I mean. But there’s another side to hiking, a side which though is a bit more laid back, can be fun & fulfilling just the same. It’s hiking with children. This article is meant to give just some pointers on hiking with children, and doesn’t cover every important aspect of this enjoyable activity. These are just some suggestions when bringing children out for a day hike.

Before going out, make sure you check the weather report & plan for the temperature. If it’s a bit chilly out, make sure that each child is dressed accordingly. Wearing several layers, hats & gloves if needed, will help them enjoy it more if they’re warm enough.

Look at a map to determine a loop hike to take, or choose a simple there-and-back route.

Bring plenty of water & snacks. Nothing kills a good time or activity like a hungry, growling stomach.

Let the age level of the children dictate the terrain you’ll be hiking. Be sure to have some ups & downs, but nothing to strenuous. Most children love a challenge, at least to a certain degree, and a hill with some rocks & trees to grab hold of as they climb upwards can be fun. It’s been my experience that some children enjoy the climbs the best, while some others love going downhill.

Have a destination in mind, as well as a half-way point. Children are goal-oriented, believe it or not, and look forward to reaching an appointed objective or destination. Set a time when you want to stop for an extended rest. This can be for a picnic or just hanging out & taking some pictures of everyone. Bring a favorite food or beverage of theirs that can only be had upon reaching the mid-point. Once the half-way point is reached, a feeling of satisfaction will fill their hearts as food fills their bellies. After a rest, the next goal will be to get back.

If possible, have the children bring along a friend. Of course the number of friends is optional and, depending on how many are going, you may not want each child to bring a friend. This can cause the group to grow to be too large to control.

If available, bring a map of the area you’re hiking, and refer to it from time to time. Maps have always interested me, and although they may not understand every aspect of the map, it’s a good introduction for them to learning to read a map. Looking at a map and understanding where you are in relation to the grid gives an altogether different perspective to the hike.

If you or another adult knows anything about plants & trees or animals & their markings, make a point of sharing this knowledge with the children. Ask them what they know about these things, as children always enjoy being asked to share what they know with adults.

Teach children to be  aware of their surroundings. Tell them to be observant of the landscape around them, natural landmarks & the trail conditions as well. These are skills that if learned & practiced will follow them all their lives, even influencing them in more far-reaching areas.

finally, have an end goal in mind. Take them all out to dinner at their favorite restaurant or for ice cream. Associate other enjoyable activities with hiking.

This has been just a brief collection of suggestions when it comes to bringing children hiking. We all know that children are the future, the future of everything! One step in making sure that our trails of today are secure & protected for the future is by teaching children the importance of those trails & in being outdoors. Children must learn the importance of nature. Get out & hike, but next time, bring along some children.

 

 

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Family, Kids

When Monkeys Sneeze – Helping our kids deal with allergies (free download)

This post has affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and buy an item, I’ll receive compensation for your purchases.

 helping your little one deal with pollen monsters

It’s that time of year again. When the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees…. Share their lovely yellow dusting…. On EVERYTHING! When your eyes turn to sand paper, your ears and nose turn to faucets, and your chest feels like an elephant is sitting on it! UGGGGHHHH!!!! How frustrating!!!!

And what’s worse? Our little ones have to deal with it too. Poor little guys… coughing and hacking, rubbing their eyes and noses. Almost makes you want to put them in some protective bubble to keep them from having to deal with it.

Medications I recommend:

Once-a-day Pills:

Allegra (and kids)

Claritin (and kids)

Zyrtec (and kids)

Every 6 hours:

Benadryl (and kids)

Nose Sprays:

Flonase

Little Remedies Noses Spray

Ocean Saline Spray

Other Items That Will Help:

Breathe Healthy Honeycomb Mask

GermGuardian Air Cleaning System with HEPA Filter

NeilMed NasaFlo Unbreakable Neti Pot (and refills)

Click here to download!

 

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Family, Kids

What the Fidget?

What is it and where did it come from?

 

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive compensation for your purchases.

Recently, at my son’s thirteenth birthday party, he was given a fidget cube. All the kids ooo-ed and ahhhhh-ed over this thing like it was the next video game (after all, this is the tech generation) and said they wanted one. After the party, I asked my son if I could look at it. This small green cube had something different on each side: a knob to push, spinning bearings, a button to tap, a ball to spin…. And all I could thing was “what a cool idea!” After playing with it for a while and watching my son try to get it back from me, I decided to look up the history of this nifty little cube.

The boring blah, blah, blah history stuff (that’s actually kinda interesting!)

In the spring of 1993, Catherine Hettinger designed the Fidget Spinner out of odds and ends in her home that her daughter played with in an attempt to keep her daughter busy while she was contending with her own health issues (isn’t that just like a mom?). While the invention was a fluke, she still had it patented in 1997 and the toy was lost in history.

Twenty years later, Catherine found she could not afford the $400 patent fee in order to protect her neat little toy and it lapsed. This left the door wide open for many companies to secure the specifications and mass produce the simple toy.

While these toys have become “the newest craze,” many schools have banned the toy due to distractions to children in the classroom. However, teachers of special needs children are finding that the children with ADD/ADHD or with special needs are able to use the toy to help children keep focus on tasks at hand or as stress release, respectively.

         

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