When you take children out on a hike, the goal is for everyone to have an enjoyable
experience. The challenge is that age often determines what is enjoyable.
Children between the ages of three and five want to touch everything they see. They are
not interested in a beautiful view. Touching a moss covered rock is far more satisfying.
Teach them to explore and touch, but not to destroy or collect. As children get older,
they still enjoy touching but getting someplace often takes precedence. Children between
six and ten years old are capable of strenuous hikes. They want to see things and reach a
destination, but often dont comprehend the beauty of a spectacular view. Their
experience with nature is too limited for them to know comparatively, what is unique or
The challenge of keeping the hiking experience enjoyable for all increases with groups
of mixed ages. Try these verbal games to engage their minds as well as their bodies.
Sing a Song: Learn a song and sing it while you hike. If youre walking an
abandoned railroad bed try "Ive Been Working on the Railroad." Find a
spider web and sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider." The song doesnt have to pertain
to the hike, any song is fun while you hike.
Blindfolded Walk: If youre on a relatively flat, safe trail such as an
abandoned railroad bed, blindfold one member of the group and have others give verbal
Identification: Have someone close his or her eyes. Place an object in their
hands and ask them to identify what it is.
I Spy: One person thinks of something that everyone can see and gives a clue
such as "I spy something round and hard." The others try to guess what it is.
The winner then gets to choose the next "I Spy."
Twenty Questions: A person thinks of some object or person. The other players
ask yes-or-no questions to discover the identity of the object or person.
Where Was That? After walking for several minutes, ask children about the order
of things you passed. How much do they remember?
How Far? Have each person guess how far he or she has hiked. For older children,
show them how to orient the map and locate your position.
Cloud Pictures: Take a break. Look into the sky and describe to each other what
you see in the clouds.
Chain Story: One person starts a story, but stops in the middle of a sentence or
idea. The next person must continue the story then break to let the next person continue,
and so forth.
Yes or No: A person can ask any question of any other person, but the words
"yes" or "no" cannot be used in any answers. Actually any words can be
prohibited. It makes children think before they speak.
Name a Class: Have a person name all the presidents of the U.S. that they can
think of, or all the baseball players, etc.
Take A Hike! Family Walks in the Rochester Area
Take A Hike! Family Walks in the Finger Lakes & Genesee Valley Region
Take Your Bike! Family Rides in the Rochester Area
Take Your Bike! Family Rides in the Finger Lakes & Genesee Valley Region
Snow Trails -Cross
Country Ski & Snowshoe in Central & Western NY
The books can be found at local stores or ordered by calling
or through web site http://www.footprintpress.com
(price = $16.95 + 1.36 tax = $18.31 per book, shipping is free).