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Oh what a beautiful morning,
Oh what a beautiful day,
I’ve got a wonderful feeling,
Everything’s going my way.

By Rodgers and Hammerstein

Only a glorious day could follow this sunrise.  We decided to take a walk or a mini-hike with our family and some friends.  Here are my tips for making your hike kid-friendly.

1.  Dress appropriately.  If they are hot or cold, or cold and wet, the whining will commence immediately and last for the duration.  Be sure that they are warm enough, hats, gloves, boots, etc. and dress in layers so they can take things off if they get too warm.  Comfortable shoes are important.  This goes for the adults, too.

2.  Food.  Hungry kids are not happy kids.  This also pertains to the adults.  Pack snacks and drinks accordingly.  Be sure to take all trash with you when you leave.

3.  Let them set the pace.  A family hike or walk should be fun.  It is not an Army training course.  Relax and enjoy it.  You can go for a run later.  They will want to stop and throw things in the water and poke things with sticks.  I draw the line at picking up carcasses.  But let them explore.

4.  Choose a good time and day to go.  If you want to go walk in the rain without an umbrella and it’s as cold as ice outside, go ahead.  But don’t force your kids to do it or they may not want to hike with you again, ever.  And choose a time of day when they are not already exhausted.  Tired = cranky for kids and adults.

5.  Remember the ages and abilities of the kids when choosing the hiking or walking terrain.  You want to make it fun for everyone.  Having a goal, such as the end of the road, a waterfall, or some other special place makes it more fun, too, and allows you to continue to say, “Come on, we’re almost there!”

And here are a few pictures from the hike.

This reminds me of “Horton Hears a Who.”  My daughter found this seed-flower and gave it to me.  #3 Above – Let them explore.

One of the boys discovered this fungus.  What a “fun guy!”  (Get it?  Fungi?)

Before I’ve had my café au lait, this is how I feel.  Like this tree.  Tangled.

Yet another discovery.  Trails left by beetles that feasted underneath the tree bark.

This stand of trees reminds me of Troll dolls.  Bare at the bottom and a big, green shock of hair sticking up on top.  Use your imagination.

And #5 – the goal.  A waterfall.

If a child is to keep his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.

Quote from Rachel Carson

Be that adult.  Take your kids outside this week.  It’s a beautiful day!