Why You Should Hike the Trails with Your Baby or Young Child
Babies aged six to nine months are old enough to be carried along on woodland hikes with adults, according to Ontariotrails.on.ca, provided they can hold up their heads on their own. Young children will be able to walk alongside their parents or caregivers. If you’re looking for a great way to educate your child through play, you’ll find that outdoor education is just the ticket. The benefits of spending time with kids outdoors, in forest settings, are significant. Kids who enjoy woodland escapes with their parents get a chance to bond with Mom and Dad, learn about the natural world and access the physical and psychological benefits of being out in the fresh air.
Children get one-on-one time with you
Babies and young children depend on and love their parents. They want quality time with Mom and/or Dad. At home, there are so many distractions that keep children and parents from enjoying quality time, from ringing phones to televisions to knocks on the door and beyond.
Out in the woodland, it’s quiet, except for the sounds of nature. This peaceful backdrop sets the stage for close bonding. Parents of babies or toddlers may talk to their little ones or use sign language to communicate non-verbally, while spending time with their children outdoors.
A woodland picnic will be a great place to communicate during a hike. Bring a soft blanket, snacks and drinks and then sit and talk (with your voice or your hands, or both) to your baby or young child, without any distractions at all.
Little ones learn about the natural world
The world is a beautiful place and children need the chance to see towering trees and hear birds caw as they move through the sky above the forest. They need a break from the city or the suburbs. When a small child hikes with mom and/or dad, he or she will find so many fascinating things along the way.
A young child might find a pond filled with frogs and begin to count the amphibians. An older child might get interested in different types of leaves or flowers. Inquiry-based learning happens naturally out in nature.
Kids need healthy, fresh air
Angela Hanscom is a pediatric occupational therapist and she believes that children should be out of doors, playing, for at least 180 minutes a day. Hiking with the kids, or planning a family camping trip which includes occasional hikes, will be an excellent way to boost outdoor time. Babies will benefit from being out in the fresh air, and outdoor time may make it easier for them to sleep deeply. Young children need outdoor exercise to build strength, develop awareness of their own reflexes and develop good balance.
Plan a family hike today
When you take a baby or young child outdoors, for a hike, you’ll be able to bond, as your little one learns about the natural world and gets plenty of beneficial fresh air. You’ll access the therapeutic benefits of being out in the woodland, too. Quiet forest trails are great places to build the best family memories.