How to get the little darlings moving and enjoying the great outdoors???
Our Top 5 tips:
- Intrigue: Peak their interest! Maybe you are walking to see MASSIVE kauri trees, or a waterfall? Take your togs for a river swim! Or are you walking to a secret beach? Perhaps they are rock hunters? Try my mum’s favorite the “magical mystery tour”! Start a nature journal or get one of these kids activity packs from the nature library Have you heard of geocaching? Its a world wide scavenger hunt! If they are older what about family friendly adventure racing? Check out Frazzled kiwi for nation wide events.
- Friends: A million times easier to get them moving! I actually have to try to keep up with mine if they are with friends as they tend to run the whole way!
- The fine Art of Distraction: Once you are on the walk- there is a neat initiative here called “Wild Eyes”! Where the kids are given “nature missions” which they complete then upload once back home. Otherwise there’s always the more old school, but none the less useful: 1st to spot a…, i-spy… counting games e.g. the number of bridges, bird I.D, throwing skimming/rocks in the river, hand them the camera for a while. If all else fails stop for a snack/treat, take a minute to stop and look around and tell them how well they are doing!
- Leadership & Independence: Taking turns in the lead can help slow the faster kids down so you can stick together + it gives each child some responsibility within the group, this sometimes needs to be timed in order to stay fair. Let them pack and carry their own bags (checked by you before heading out). If they are older include some “group items” + their own snacks and water.
- Gear: Having the right gear is a biggie for overall enjoyment, but it doesn’t have to = expensive. Think comfort and protection i.e. sneakers (grip) over jandals (slip/trip), taking a waterproof raincoat, a jersey or thermal top, consider the comfort of their backpack, are the straps padded and comfy? Ideally it would have a waist and chest strap. Have you packed a 1st aid kit, sunscreen and sunhat. The NZ weather can be unpredictable and can change very quickly so best to be prepared. Always check the weather before you go and tell someone where you are going.
*A note on: Expectations. If you or your family are new to bush walking start out by keeping your expectations low! Rome wasn’t built in a day! Be prepared to become a pack horse & expect some degree of complaining. We highly recommend starting with some small easy walks (~1 hour) building up gradually. Always be prepared with snacks (including some treats) water, 1st aid kit etc. The first will definitely be the hardest but it will get easier every time, we promise.
We’d love to know if this was helpful or if you have any of your own “tips and tricks” that you’d like to share 👊😁