It is getting nice outside, and we love hiking!
There are lots of state parks and county parks near our house so we are able to go for hikes often. However our hikes are not usually planned. The other day, Becki was working on her computer, the kids were setting up a game, and I was scheming. (Nice weather? Check. No other plans? Check. Is there a park we have not visited? Check.)
“Everyone grab your boots, a sweatshirt, a backpack, and the field guides.”
I am not sure how Becki feels about the sudden changes in plans, but she tolerates me and my impromptu trips.
How We Hike:
There is so much that can be learned and experienced on a hike, but it can all be easily overlooked too. That is why we have a few activities that we play as we hike. I will be sharing these activities and some of our discoveries in this series of hiking posts.
Activity 1: Find Something Interesting
Wow, that really needs a better name, but we never gave this activity a name before. Please post better names in the comment section.
During a hike, I will have the kids stop, usually on a big rock. Then I instruct them to find something interesting. They cannot talk, and they cannot go anywhere (turning around is fine). After a minute or two, we each share what we found.
On this trip, Gideon saw a stick floating in the water that was two different colors. Isaiah said, “That rock on the other side of the lake looks like it has a cave under it.” There was a rock nearby that Ruth said looked like Mt. Rushmore because some of the bumps looked like a face. She also noticed a shadow that a branch was casting on the lake, which led to a discussion about whether the shadow was on the surface of the water or on the bottom of the lake. Elijah saw what appeared to be fish jumping way down the lake. It turned out to be waves (strange to have waves on a lake, but it was very windy).
These things would all have been overlooked if we didn’t take the time to notice our surroundings. Because we train our kids to be observant, they also found other items of interest on the hike, like a tree that a beaver had chopped down and strange seed pods.
They also climb on every rock they can find.
When you are out on your next hike, take time to train your kids to be good observers of God’s Creation.