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Outdoor Fun for the Whole Family June 14, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness.

Huey,-Dewey-And-LouieConnect kids with the outdoors when they’re young and they’ll have a greater sense of adventure and respect for nature the rest of their lives.

Family friendly activities, such as swimming, hiking, bicycling, canoeing, birding, kayaking, camping, diving, fishing, horseback riding, and photography allow adults and kids to get out and  enjoy our diverse natural resources.

A few inexpensive ideas:

* Grab binoculars and go birdwatching around the neighborhood.

* See how many species of plants and animals exist in your own backyard.

* Pack a picnic lunch and head to a local park for a walk.

* Hold a scavenger hunt using digital cameras to capture nature’s wonders.

* Visit a local playground and swing from the monkey bars.

If you’re ready to hit the trail for a more extensive hike, consider the ages, abilities, interests, and personalities of your kids as you plan the trip.

Before setting off on your family’s first hike, check out the hiking tips found in The Wilderness Society blog post:  Take your kids hiking: 10 tips to make the adventure fun for the whole family

My favorite:  Create games that you and your children can play out on the trail. Have them look for signs of wildlife (scat, bird holes in trees, fur) or count wildflower species. Organize a scavenger hunt and have them find things are bumpy, smelly, small, big, living, wet…the list goes on!

Don’t forget the basics:  energizing snacks, plenty of water, comfortable hiking shoes, suitable clothing, protective sunscreen, wide-brimmed hats, binoculars, nature guides, bug spray, and . . . time to stop along the way.

If you need help locating a suitable place to hike, bike, or walk on the wild side, call your state park system, or visit Sierra Club Trails:

With more than 1,000 trails listed in the Sierra Club Trails community, there’s probably one that’s just right for you.

Another great place to find information on local trails is on the Helpful Links page of the American Hiking Society (AHS) website ~ National Parks, Forest Service, Fish & Wildlife Service, and a guide to State Parks and National Forests listed state by state.

The AHS also offers Hiking Resources on a variety of helpful safety topics (safety, skills, gear, clothing, preparation, and family fun).

Quote:  Be absolutely determined to enjoy what you do.  ~ Gerry Sikorski

Related posts:  Walk Off Some Weight * A Walk in the Waves * Explore the Great Outdoors * Wildlife GardeningThe Portable Classroom


1. cindy - June 14, 2010

And take the minimum amount of ‘stuff’ along!

“Backpacking: An extended form of hiking in which people carry double the amount of gear they need for half the distance they planned to go in twice the time it should take.” ~Author Unknown

nrhatch - June 14, 2010

Oh, Cindy . . . that quote is PERFECT for this piece. : )

The goal is to be prepared for the most likely scenarios (hunger, thirst, sun, and rain) . . . not for Armageddon.

Maybe we watched too much Gilligan’s Island as kids ~ when 5 passengers set sail for a 3 hour cruise that turned into an extended stay on a deserted island.



Paula - June 14, 2010

Reminds me of one of my brother’s sayings: “The better the 4-wheel drive, the farther out you get stuck!” Not near as perfect a fit as Cindy’s to this post, but it is what it reminded me of – our excess when we try to divest!

nrhatch - June 14, 2010

That’s funny!

We do get ourselves in some sticky situations. : )

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