Jeremy & Sharon, Family Ambassadors
Getting out there and being active with little ones is always important. In the winter, that can mean getting out when it is very cold. Even though snowshoeing is fun, and our kids enjoy it, they still sometimes resist our plans. With a bit of planning though, we work hard to make sure every adventure is a fun one for everyone involved! Here are five ways to inject a little bit more fun into your family adventures:
- Turn your hike into a crazy adventure. Make up a story. What mission are you on as you set out. Perhaps you are in search of a yeti, or maybe an ice princess. Use popular stories to create the plot of your story, and build up some of the characters. Let the kids help fill in the details. Many hikes we take with the boys, we create stories like this, and for months after, the boys will tell us more adventures about the characters we created. At the first, “I’m tired”, or “are we there yet” start into the next details. Incorporate a bit of a cliff hanger. Ensure your kids play some of the characters. They will offer up new ideas and keep moving in the process. Use elements in the hike in your story. Pick a tree down the path as a milestone within the story and finish the next details when you arrive at the tree.
- Bring along a special snack. We don’t eat a lot of candy in our house, so when we bring along something unique on a hike, the kids are happy and excited by this special treat. We’ll also bake special squares and cookies that offer good nutrition mixed in with a few chocolate chips. Whatever it is, it is always something that they are only getting because of the hike. Oftentimes, we will stop by a local deli that sells imported chocolates and candies. The boys are excited to pick something new and know that they don’t get it until their next outdoor adventure. We often bring along a hot drink as well. Our family favorite is apple cider of some variety.
- Action shots. Come up with unique ideas for pictures. Have them run so you can catch them kicking up snow with their snowshoes. Have them make a funny face, or an action pose. Ask them for ideas on a fun picture. They get to be creative and you get to capture some great shots. The pictures can match the stories you are telling too!
- Sing a song. When all else fails, we often sing. It might not seem like much, but it keeps the kids moving. We sing all sorts of songs. Some are left over from my childhood days, some they know and some we just make up. Sometimes we just change the words to match our situation. When climbing up a hill, we nearly always sing about “this is the hill that never ends…”. Try and lighten up the hike or get through the harder parts with some whimsical words. A quick google search should inspire you for other hiking song ideas. And kids love to sing, so embrace that love.
- Choose your route carefully. When hiking with kids, it is especially important to include hikes that are interesting. Kids love bridges, waterfalls, ravines, etc. Include a hike that is high on things to see and do along the way. And choose the distance carefully. Kids are often capable of a lot more than we give them credit for, but on a cold day, remember that the weather may take quite a bit more out of them than you think.
Heading out for a snowshoe adventure should be fun. With a little extra planning, the kids will be all the more excited about the adventures. Take time afterwards to go over the adventure. What did everyone enjoy most. Are there any learning opportunities for next time? Every hike is a new set of memories, so take time to remember just what an adventure you had!