Introduce Your Children To The Outdoors

It’s almost been a year since we took one of my daycare children on her first hike. She had always asked to join us but when a child is included hikes need to be geared toward their abilities and interests. At the time she was almost 2 1/2 so we knew this would not be a day to hike many miles, climb bluffs, or explore anything too difficult. That being said, this did not mean we could not all have fun being outdoors.


She was excited, which in turn made us excited, and the key to everything was to make her feel like one of us. We had backpacks, so she needed a backpack, we had water bottles so she needed a water bottle, and so on.

Well, to this day I still hear stories about that hike from this child. She remembers everything from the items she found in the geocache bucket to the cookies we ate on the trail when we found the woolly bear caterpillar. It’s amazing and so rewarding to hear that she had so much fun at such a young age being outdoors.


Which brings us to now, a year older. She has been asking lately if we are going to ever go hiking again and I keep telling her as soon as the snow melts we will. However, this year she has a much larger request for her dream hike. She has this hope to hike into a cave. (And she has no idea that her childcare provider dislikes bats) Not just look at the opening of a cave, nooooo, she wants to hike INTO it. She is going to bring her headlamp that we bought her for her birthday and go explore in this cave. She tells me it will all be fine, that we can hold hands and then we won’t be scared. How nice of her to offer to hold my hand. So, me being who I am, I have started researching caves nearby. I can only hope at this point that she chickens out at the cave opening when she she’s it, but if not, I may just try and convince her that my husband is a better cave explorer that I am and send her in with him. I will keep you all updated on this cave hike when it happens.

The message I am trying to get across is that at any age it is possible to introduce your children to the outdoors.(Here is a great example:a family with four children with two still in backpack carriers hiking)


Keep it simple, age appropriate, let them have input on the adventure and make it fun. You will be amazed how much fun you will all have. For me there is nothing better than seeing families together enjoying the great outdoors.



Is Laughter The Best Medicine?

I often hear the statement, laughter is the best medicine. In my eyes the best medicine would be daylight. With the beginning of daylight savings time, I have officially survived another brutally cold Wisconsin winter.

We spent this last weekend at our favorite kayak/canoe convention with thousands of people just like us. Folks eager to hit the water and paddle. I will have a complete post on this Wednesday, but let me be the first to say, “I am so happy Spring is officially here in 10 days.”

With the change of the clocks this last weekend the first thing I want to do is go for a walk after dinner with my hubby in DAYLIGHT!!! No flashlights, no strobe blinkers and no reflecting vests to wear over our jackets. I know this may not sound exciting to most people, but to throw on my jacket and leave in seconds is wonderful.

The next thing I want to do is start seeing my neighbors outside in their yards and see kids ride past on their bikes. During the winter months, I swear we all hibernate like bears here in Wisconsin. Just walking to the curb to retrieve our mail is a chore. (Which is why I usually have my son retrieve ours)

My kiddos and I have been discussing Spring during circle time for weeks. We want to go to the park, ride our bikes, draw with chalk, play on the climbers out back (in time, it’s awful wet yet), blow bubbles, take a walk, etc. To say we are ready and excited would be an understatement. It’s like Christmas in March, so hard to wait for. That’s why, for me personally, the very best medicine is to let the sun shine longer.