Keeping kids active and healthy is an important part of parenting in this day and age. With so many distractions nowadays, it’s more vital than ever that you encourage your children to lead active lifestyles from a young age. One of the best ways to stay active and have fun as a family is to go on trail hikes together! Hiking on trails lets your kids take in a much-needed breath of fresh air, and it introduces them to an easy way to stay active. When hiking on trails, you need to be careful that your kids stay hydrated so they can stay happy and healthy! Here are 5 creative ways to keep your kiddos hydrated when on trail!
Have Your Kids Carry Their Own Water
One of the first ways to make sure your kids stay hydrated is to have them carry their own water. Depending on their age, kids can carry water supplies in their own backpacks. You might also want to have a filtration system handy like a Life Straw. Include your kids in the planning process for your hike, and get them excited about carrying their own weight during the trip! Don’t hesitate to bring more water than you need, and don’t forget to store extra in your car for your return home.
2. Dress For Hiking
Staying hydrated is about more than just bringing enough water. You also need to dress in a way that cools your body as you hike. Your kids need the right clothes to ensure their bodies stay hydrated during the entire hike. Reference the weather at your particular hiking location and pack layers accordingly. Choose moisture-wicking fabrics that pull water away from the body to keep you cooler. There are a lot of great athletic clothes for kids like Move U custom leggings which are designed for both comfort and performance. The right clothes will keep your kiddos feeling energized for longer during the hike!
3. Take Regular Breaks
When hiking, it’s sometimes easy to get absorbed in the trail and forget to take breaks. Breaks are essential, especially when hiking with kids. Take regular breaks like one every hour and allow your kids the chance to really cool off and drink water. Do your kids hate taking breaks? No worries! There are a lot of ways to fun ways to make your breaks a game for the little ones. If you’re in a National Park, you can pick up a free Junior Ranger packet with fun games and activities for the trail. If you’re not in a National Park, there are still a lot of great hiking games that are perfect for break time.
4. Think Beyond Water
Some kids aren’t thrilled with water. This might keep them from staying properly hydrated on the trail which is a recipe for disaster. There are a lot of healthy and fun ways to add flavor and excitement to water without adding artificial sweeteners or sugar. Add fruit slices to water for a flavor infusion or opt for a sugar-free juice or energy drink that restores electrolytes. This small change might be just what your kids need to look forward to hydration breaks!
5. Play Hydration Games
Making hydration a game is a surefire way to ensure your kiddos drink plenty of water! There are a lot of easy ways to turn drinking water into a game. One of the easiest is to reward the “player” who drinks the most water between breaks. You might also establish a reward or treat for every water bottle finished. If drinking out bottle or canteen, drawing lines along the bottle to show how much kids have been drinking is a fun way to engage them in the hydration process. These games don’t have to be complicated to be effective!
Hydrating as a Family
Staying hydrated is essential during any hike! When you’re hiking as a family, it’s important to set a positive example for your kids so they know the value of staying hydrated. Congratulations on leading such a healthy lifestyle for your family! As long as you follow the easy tips above, your kiddos will have no problem staying hydrated on the trail!