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Posts Tagged ‘group hikes’

So you know those blogs that give the impression things with kids go wonderfully all the time, the ones where gorgeous, happy children play/create/build contentedly with their joy-filled mothers in beautiful homes, well, this blog isn’t one of those.  Sure, I want to show how much fun it is to get outside with your kids, but I don’t want to pretend it’salwayseasy or that things don’t sometimes go wrong.

And today was one of those days when things just went wrong.  We went for a toddler trek this morning in a large group of kids and adults, and The Puppy Dog cried pretty much the whole way. Not pleasant. And also not that common. He usually enjoys being outside and loves to run along the trials.  So I thought a post-mortem was in order.  Why did things go so wrong this morning? What can I learn from the experience?

1. Hiking in big groups with kids is hard.  The problem is that kids like to meander along the trail examining whatever catches their fancy. In a large group it’s hard to let kids do this however.  Trying to get your kids to keep up with the group means they get frustrated that their own needs are not being met.  That was definitely part of the problem this morning.  The Puppy Dog wanted to spend time playing in the dirt but his older brother wanted to run with the big kids.  This resulted in a pace that was too quick and too steady for the Puppy Dog to explore as he wanted.

2. Knowing the trail is key when hiking with kids.  I’d never done this trail before and it wasn’t terribly suitable for kids: too narrow and not too much to look at.  It was so narrow, in fact, that kids couldn’t stop to look at their surroundings without holding everyone up.  Made for a bit of a joyless trudge.

Basically the big group dynamic and the nature of the trail turned the hike into work rather than play. It just didn’t work.  Ah well, we live and learn.

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