“My kids can’t even walk down the road without moaning” …. this is something we hear a lot! Guess what our’s were like that too when we started out!
Here are our top 5 tips for bush walking with under fives:
- Expectations: If you are just starting out, keep them low, or maybe just don’t have any! Be prepared to become a pack horse & expect complaining. We highly recommend starting with some small easy walks and always be prepared with snacks, water, plasters etc. The first few times will definitely be the hardest but it will get easier every time, we promise.
- Distraction: Story telling or singing, great time to practice the abc’s or that old kapa haka song. Treats, a lollipop at the top of the hill or M&M’s along the way to “dangle the carrot”. And of course games, pointing out interesting things along the way, first one to spot a… or listening and watching out for birds.🦜🕊🐦
- Leadership: Taking turns in the lead and giving each child some responsibility within the group, this sometimes need to be timed in order to stay fair. Stop and smell the roses and walk at kids pace #slowwalk 😊
- Independence: Letting them pack a bag to carry themselves with 1-2 of their own “treasures”. My kids didn’t start carrying a bag/pack until about 4 years old, and even still now I have to have a turn carrying it.
- Gear: Having the appropriate gear always helps. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Think comfort i.e. sneakers over jandals and always carry a raincoat.
When our kids were young we had to use one or all of these in one short little 20 minute walk, but now they’re older – not so much. Part of it definitely comes from getting out there doing it.
What are some tips and tricks that work for you? Comment below and share with all us forest families ✌️