Why You Should Hike the Trails with Your Young Child
Babies aged six to nine months are old enough to be carried along on woodland hikes with adults. Provided they can hold up their heads on their own, according to Ontariotrails.on.ca. Young children will be able to walk alongside their parents or caregivers. If you’re looking for a great way to educate your child through play, you’ll find that hiking with children is just the ticket. The benefits of spending time with kids outdoors, in forest settings, are significant. Kids who enjoy woodland escapes with their parents get a chance to bond with Mom and Dad. They also learn about the natural world around them. And they access the physical and psychological benefits of being out in the fresh air.
Children get one-on-one time with you
Babies and young children depend on and love their parents. They want quality time with Mom and/or Dad. At home, there are so many distractions that keep children and parents from enjoying quality time. From ringing phones to televisions to knocks on the door and beyond.
Out in the woodland, it’s quiet, except for the sounds of nature. This peaceful backdrop sets the stage for close bonding. Spending time with their children outdoors can open a world of communication. Parents of babies or toddlers can introduce little ones to new words or signs during their walk.
A woodland picnic will be a great place to communicate during a hike. Bring a soft blanket, snacks and drinks. Then, sit and talk (or sign) to your baby or young child, without any distractions at all.
Little ones learn about the natural world
The world is a beautiful place. Children need the chance to see towering trees and hear birds caw as they fly through the sky. They need a break from the city or the suburbs. When a small child hikes with a caregiver, they will find so many fascinating things along the way.
A young child might find a pond filled with frogs and begin to count the amphibians. An older child might get interested in different types of leaves or flowers. Inquiry-based learning happens naturally out in nature.
Hiking with children gets them out in the fresh air
Angela Hanscom is a pediatric occupational therapist and she believes that children should get outside often. Children should play outside for at least 180 minutes a day. Hiking with the kids, or planning a family camping trip, will be an excellent way to boost outdoor time. Babies benefit from being in the fresh air, and outdoor time may make it easier for them to sleep deeply. Young children need outdoor exercise to build strength, develop awareness of their own reflexes and develop good balance.
Plan a family hike today
When you take a baby or young child outdoors, for a hike, you’ll be able to bond, as your little one learns about the natural world and gets plenty of beneficial fresh air. You’ll access the therapeutic benefits of being out in the woodland, too. Quiet forest trails are great places to build the best family memories.
Interested in learning more about spending time outside with your child. Check out our 5 Reasons Your Child Will Benefit From Being in Nature post.