Hiking with children: Why go hiking together?
Hiking is a form of adventure that strengthens the spirit, connects people with nature and rejuvenates the soul. Now imagine adding the sound of children's laughter in the air and excited children's eyes, full of wonder and eagerness to explore, to this amazing experience that every hike is.
Hiking with children is more than just a family outing - it's an experience that can give children and adults alike a whole new perspective on life, strengthen our relationships and teach us all so much. It creates lasting memories and can shape children in a fundamental and exclusively positive way as they move forward.
Read about all the benefits that time outdoors offers children, and you'll never put them off going to their grandparents again before your next hike.
Development of physical fitness
Hiking with children is a great way to promote physical fitness and instil healthy habits from an early age. Exploring the world out there is a physical activity that has the desired result of strengthening muscles, improving cardiovascular health and improving overall fitness levels.
In addition, moving outdoors also provides benefits for endurance, balance and coordination, all in a way that is not nearly as demanding as other endurance sports and is therefore suitable for children of any age.
Cognitive development and the opportunity to learn something new
The mountains and the forest are like one big classroom, offering unlimited possibilities for learning. Time in nature stimulates children's curiosity and is an ideal space where children can be taught to identify plants, animals as well as rocks and geological formations. It would be hard to find a more effective way to extend knowledge about the environment than when a child comes into direct contact with it.
But moving around in the nature offers many other opportunities for learning different skills that are essential for life. Children can learn how to use a map or compass, navigate the terrain or follow signs. Nature also offers challenges to be conquered through the ability to solve problems and overcome obstacles. Hiking thus teaches children endurance, resilience and the ability to adapt to the environment.
The world out there is simply one big dynamic learning environment from which every child will take away knowledge and experiences to last a lifetime.
Wellbeing and mental health
We adults often see nature as an escape from the stresses of everyday life. However, emotional health and mental well-being are as much about children as they are about us. And hiking goes beyond the physical in this respect for them too.
Hiking and spending time in nature, where one is surrounded by beauty and silence, helps to eliminate anxiety, improve mood, and contribute significantly to improved overall mental well-being. Both in adults and children.
For children, nature is also a space that allows them to disconnect from screens and technology, fostering the ability to better perceive the present moment - a skill so essential for mental well-being. As hiking and nature also bring challenges in the form of obstacles and changing conditions, children learn to adapt and accept even things they do not fully control.
All of this increases their self-confidence and resilience, qualities that come in really handy in everyday life.
Strengthening relationships and quality time together
Hiking together is the perfect opportunity to strengthen relationships and create memories to last a lifetime. As we are all away from the distractions of everyday life at these times, nature offers the perfect space for meaningful conversations, sharing stories and strengthening relationships. Working together to overcome obstacles strengthens the bonds between us, and the support and encouragement we receive in the tougher moments and challenging stretches reminds us all that we are never alone in this.
And these shared experiences will one day be the most beautiful stories and memories. Because nothing is more precious than time spent together.
Respect for nature
Hiking and outdoor activities inspire a deep respect for nature, which is the strongest motivator for caring for the environment. And as the world faces serious challenges, every helping hand is already needed today.
It is in nature that children best learn the importance of responsible behaviour in nature, how not to leave a trace and not to impact the habitat. Children will also learn why it is important to only walk on marked trails and the importance of respect for wildlife.
Perhaps not every child will be an active environmentalist, but we are confident that every child with the experience of nature will be a conscious person in adulthood who understands the interconnectedness of all life out there and, if not directly fighting back, will at least preserve nature in the condition in which they found it.