Hiking Activities Fun for Kids

Encourage the kiddos to have fun in nature with these fun hiking activities and printables!

Outdoor Adventuring with Kids

As a full-time RV family, we absolutely love to explore new places and go nature adventuring together!

We enjoy everything from camping and hiking to spending the day paddle boarding at the lake.

That said, hiking is by far one of our favorites.

Hiking with Kids

Hiking with kids doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming, you guys!

Practice Hiking Safety when Hiking with Children

First, assess your family’s unique needs.

More specifically, take the time to plan for age-related difficulties (such as potty needs, medical issues, or attention spans).

While hiking can be great for your mental health, hiking with the kiddos can be stressful if you don’t plan ahead.

Hiking Activities for Families

All that said, getting off screens and into nature can be great for everyone in the family!

Make hiking a family affair by adding fun activities for little ones when needed.

While my kiddos are older and no longer need excess motivation to keep going on most of our hiking trips, I do sometimes have to pull one of these out of my hat for the 11-year-old.

Check out some of these fun ideas for hiking as a family.

Family Hiking Ideas (b)

Buying gear and encouraging children to carry their own pack not only motivates and excites children to participate in family hiking adventures, but it can also take a load off Mom and Dad.

Just be sure not to overpack their bag, causing exhaustion.

Focus on keeping it simple, allowing kids to carry their extra/fun gear, a snack or two, and their water bottle.

Once kiddos are motivated, try planning hikes for different times of the year so your family can experience what it’s like to hike in different seasons and weather.

This is the best way to find your perfect hiking fit.

Not going to lie, one of my absolute favorite times to hike is in winter, you guys!

I never would have known if I hadn’t taken the time to try it!

Hiking in Glacier National Park During Winter

Other fun ways to keep hiking exciting and fun for little ones is to focus on playing games, memorizing nature trivia facts, telling stories, chatting about trail or local history, and singing songs along the way!

That said, my kiddos are slightly older and we prefer more in-depth hiking activities such as identifying animal tracks and other nature items or collecting litter on the trail.

Hiking Activities for Kids

While participating in activities with your kiddos is great, sometimes encouraging kiddos to create their own fun is even better!

This is one of the best ways for them to form a love of hiking and nature adventuring on their own.

Check out a few ways I’ve encouraged my kiddos to fall in love with nature while on the trail.

Kid's Hiking Fun

First, I just have to say, that kids love sticks.

I’m not exactly sure what the deal is, but every single one of my kiddos has picked up sticks on our hiking adventures.

So, if you have a reluctant hiker on your hands, send them on a walking stick hunt before beginning your hike.

Once they have a stick in hand, the complaining tends to fade away, you guys!

Teaching Kids to Love Nature Through Activities

While walking sticks are always a must on our family hikes, there are countless other ways to encourage your kiddos to form a love for nature walking and hiking!

One of my daughter’s favorite hiking activities is collecting nature items for crafting or showing off.

This tends to be the single hiking activity she needs to stay motivated and keep pushing on.

Take hiking up a notch by packing special items (such as toy binoculars and magnifying glasses) for your kids to use while collecting and exploring.

If your kids are older, encourage them to create their own hiking essentials pack instead.

This pack can include items such as a pocket knife, a homemade paracord keychain, higher-quality binoculars, and walkie-talkies.

Then, take some time to set goals before you set off (no whining, hike for x amount of minutes, etc) and end the day with a fun reward if earned.

You can easily utilize reward tickets for this purpose. Encourage children to collect tickets each time they hike!

The main goal of hiking with kids is to help children love being in nature, you guys!

Printable Hiking Activities for Kids

While utilizing hands-on nature activities is essential when hiking as a family, sometimes a little printable hiking fun is all you need!

If you have kiddos who love tracking, writing, and learning, consider utilizing some of these free printable nature-themed activities and hiking printables.

If you love these printable hiking activities for kids, check back this summer as we have many more in the works!