Recently we went to Sequoia National Park and spent some time together hiking as a family. With 4 kids under 7...we employed every trick in our arsenal of skillzzz. Here are some of the things we do to make it work:
1. Plan adventures INSIDE your adventure. Each hike we find little things to accomplish together -- climb that stump, climb that rock, jump off that log, etc. etc. The goal isn't to finish the hike as much as it is to accomplish a few adventures along the way.
2. Stop often and look at stuff. Nothing grabs kids attention like awesome things. Don't just walk....WATCH. In this picture we are looking at a Sequoia...one of the largest and oldest trees in the world (2000 years old).
3. Always "arrive" somewhere. We try to plan our hikes around a nice lookout or something that the kids would get inspired by.
4. Take lots of selfies....seriously...it breaks up the time and reminds them (and us) that it's all about being together.
5. Carry those kids. We take 2 ergo's even if we don't use them both. One of the kids is undoubtedly gonna get tired of walking. Always always always be smarter than your kids....be ready to carry them.
6. Walk slowly & hold hands. You'll keep a better pace and they'll forget how far they've walked.
7. Tell epic stories about the stuff you see. We always stop to tell stories about "how stuff got there" and "how stuff was created." Some are fictional...some are real....but it captivates our kids and makes the hike fun.
8. When you arrive back at the car....four words: fancy drink fun foods. Always have hot chocolate or some other kind of sweet drink and something fun to eat. It's always a treat to end up at the car and have something to eat and drink together.
On this hike...our kids were able to do 3 miles with lots of climbing and descending. They really impressed us! Well done dudes!
These are good days.