With a love of the outdoors from my childhood spent on Shelburne Farms, Vermont, I am always on the lookout for ways for my children to enjoy exploring as much as I do. As they’ve gotten older, I put my Art Degree to good use and began sketching quick illustrations of things we would find in the woods, or at the beach, even in our own neighborhood block. It was an instant hit, and quickly became something we looked forward to doing weekly as a family or with friends. As time went on, the need grew to have all the essential tools at our fingertips when we were exploring. Thus, my “Search & Find: Adventure Kit” was born, complete with a sturdy pair of binoculars, a magnifying glass, a small marker, and a trusty Search & Find Adventure Card.
One of our favorite things to do is hike in the woods, especially in First Landing State Park. As parents of three small boys (five years old and under), my husband and I have experienced the highs and lows of hiking with children all over the country, and we like to think that “we’ve got this!”
Enjoy these photographs from Jess Hill Photography of our most recent hike, and I’ve written a few tips at the bottom of the photos on how to have a great hike with your kids.
Type of Adventure
Hiking while teaching your children an appreciation for nature, a fun family activity, and exercising
Any woods big or small
Things to take into consideration while packing
- Plan for “the sagging wagon”: Might need a kid carrying item: We love our backpack!
- Snacks? Trail Magic (nuts & dried berries), sandwiches, apples or carrots
- Water? Yes. Plenty.
- Activity? Woods: Search & Find Adventure Kit
- Protection? Be aware of the season when you’re hiking and what you’d need: sunscreen, or bug & tick protection
While on the Adventure
- Be prepared to stop as many times as they need to
- It’s Progressive. Don’t expect them to hike for over an hour!
- Go in intervals – take your time! Snack between intervals, throw stones, collect nature items
- Collect leaves, sticks, stones, or nuts. (our rule: anything not living)
- Bring your child’s friend – might get you another 30 min – 1 hour of “hiking”
- Skip stones into water
And most importantly, have fun!