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How To Keep Kids Busy When Hiking

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Disclaimer: This is a collaboration.

Every parent wants to make sure their child is active and engaged, but with the hectic pace of modern life, it can be easy to let busyness slide. However, getting kids involved in hiking can be a task if they love their technology.

If you are hiking with kids, here are a few activities you can do, that will help keep them occupied on the trail.

The Best Ways To Keep Kids Busy When Hiking


Girl holding acorn and colorful leaf in autumn park. Child picking acorns in a bucket in fall forest with golden oak and maple leaves. Children play outdoors. Kids playing and hiking in the woods.

Scavenger Hunt

Encouraging kids to make their own nature scavengers is a great way for families to get in touch with their wild side. Encouraging an interest in exploring the natural world and learning about different creatures is a great parenting goal. Kids will learn more about the wonders of the world if they are excited and not daunted by the process. Endless opportunities can be found online that have pre-made scavenger hunts children can enjoy playing. Take advantage of this free material and encourage family fun.


Young boy taking photos


Make the next generation of nature photographers — or make it easier for your children to learn about observation and seeing things in their own backyard. Start off with an entry-level digital camera and then as your children grow you can advance to a DSLR.


cattle on mountain trail

Spotting Wildlife

When hiking outdoors, there’s so much to discover for the eyes to see. Make sure your kids learn to look for wildlife and help them by finding different animals in the area. Kids will love that you are looking for animals and it will give them something to do besides playing with their phone.


beautiful little girl on the nature draws pencils


Kids love to doodle and draw. It’s fun to watch their imaginations at work. But what do they draw? Ask them to draw interesting things they see on the hiking trail. You can buy waterproof notepads for their drawings this will mean their doodled pictures will be safe from being ruined if you get caught in a rain shower.


Two little brothers playing together with colorful paper boats by a river on spring or autumn day. Creative leisure with kids.

Imagination and Games

I don’t know about you, but my kids have vivid imaginations. Encouraging them to play games like I-Spy when we go for a hike is a really great way to pass the time and keep them engaged. Games like this are also a great way to add creativity and inventiveness to their lives.



Pre-Hike Outdoor Tips

You have the information for keeping your kids entertained on your family hike, but here are some great outdoor tips.

Be Prepared – Clothes

Before you head out on the trails with kids, you need to be prepared. Here is a quick overview of what outdoor gear you should wear to be prepared for a family hike:

– Base Layers

– Mid Layers

– Insulating Layer (Softshell is a good type)

– Waterproof Jacket

– A good set of hiking boots for the whole family.

– Depending on the weather you should wear gloves, a hat, and a buff. The one thing about wearing gloves that annoys a lot of people is not being able to use their phone/touch screen GPS devices. You can get some great touch screen device friendly gloves which are invaluable.

– Hiking socks



Be Prepared – Hiking Backpack

Pack your bag the evening before and make sure everyone has the hiking essentials they need. A bag to be kept in your car for your return is also a good idea with clean clothes and some snacks.

Further Reading – Top Tips For While Out Hiking

Do you do anything to keep your kids busy on a family hike? Let me know in the comments below.

Other Hiking Related Guides:

What to wear for winter hiking

What to wear in hot weather for hiking.

What tech do you need for hiking

About the author

I have worked for Hooked on Cycling & Walking since 2007 and love to travel and explore. I like to get outdoors and take my two young boys with me and hiking/cycling is enjoyed by all of us.

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