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Hiking with children

Discovering more of your local area and walking together means so much more than just a nice walk. When we move out in nature, we form stronger bonds with each other and the interest in taking care of our earth increases. One of the tricks for a successful trip is time, time and even more time. It will be much more fun with plenty of time. Time to explore, time to play and time to replenish energy stores.

Soft start - make sure not to set the bar too high. The first time you move out with children, you do not have to go very far. It is enough to pack a lunch bag and go to the nearest forest glade. As you go, you can increase the length of the hike. Having a goal in the form of a lookout point or exciting final destination usually helps keep your motivation up. Some examples of nice excursion destinations to start with are Vista Kulle, Bondberget and Strömsbergsskogen. The road to Tegnértornet in Gränna is really hilly, but the final destination in the form of a 27 meter high lookout tower makes the trail a favorite among many children.

Packed lunch
Make sure to replenish the energy depots and plan several food stops. Both main meals that can be cooked and eaten together as well as snacks and light snacks for those who need to refill. Most people agree that food tastes better outside, but make sure that everyone is allowed to participate and decide what to put in the mashed potatoes or grill by the fire.

Before departure
How to upload and create curiosity before the tour? Why not watch a film about the animals that live in the Swedish forests, or borrow a book from the library. There are lots of good children's books about nature, everything from how to learn to recognize animal tracks to audio books with bird songs.

Hiking buddy
Bringing a friend or hiking with another family can be an exciting experience that distracts from tired feet and Ipads. Give time for play and pranks along the way.

Tips in the hiking bag
If you are going to hike a little further, it is of course important not to fill the bag with what is not necessary, but to bring binoculars, a magnifying glass, some crayons and a pad increases curiosity about nature and everything you can discover. In addition to food and sufficient amounts of water, clothes for the weather and a first aid kit are always good to have with you. Add an external charger to your mobile, sunscreen and a flashlight. (For longer hiking trails in less well-known terrain, a map, compass and a number of other preparations will be added.)

Playing on the road
When the energy starts to run out and there is still a bit left, it can be good to have some games that you can focus on. Here are a bunch of tips!

Who am I?
One of you is thinking of a person that everyone involved in the game knows. It could be a living person near you, a cartoon character or someone from a movie. The others are then asked yes and no questions to find out who the person being sought is. The one who guesses correctly wins and becomes the one who gets to decide the next person.

The letter game
Determine a category, such as animals. A person starts and says an animal for example; Tiger. The next person should come up with an animal that starts with the last letter of the word tiger, eg rhino - the next person says octopus - swan etc.…

This game requires some planning from home. Prepare a bingo card with things you can pass on the tour; a yellow flower, an insect with eight legs, etc.

Maximize the adventure
Planning a hike together with an overnight stay can be an exciting adventure that can extend over a longer period of time. Everything from testing the food you should bring with you, to trying to hike with a backpack and arriving at how far it is just right for you to hike in one day. In Jönköping, there are a couple of slightly longer hiking trails that are particularly suitable for those who want to camp or sleep in windbreaks along the road, for example the Bankerydsleden and John Bauerleden. You can also walk a small shorter distance, for example up to Tegnértornet in Gränna where there are two windbreaks.

Out and enjoy
Last of all, but perhaps most importantly, reduce the pressure and think that it will be good even when it does not turn out exactly as you intended. Even if the sky opens up and the rain pours down, if the view was not at all worth the arduous hardship or if the food cooked in the storm kitchen was barely edible, you have managed to laugh afterwards. Out on tour never angry, maybe not always true but hey, it's okay anyway.