What's a Mom to do when she wants to inspire her kids to share her love of a healthy outdoor activity? And Mom wants to make this part of her plan for this year's DIY summer camp? Here's how we created a “Sunday morning hiking club” so that we could enjoy hiking with kids! (And I've got a free printable hiking tracker that can help to motivate them!)
I love to hike. My son Spencer would tell you that he thinks it is “boring” because “it's not really exercise”, and that you are just “walking in the woods”. But I beg to differ.
For me, it combines a great form of exercise- walking at a good pace coupled with the up and down of hill climbs- with being out in nature. I could literally hike every single day of my life (if I had the time).
And we are so fortunate because we live in an area of the country that offers so many beautiful nature preserves with hiking trails. It would be a waste to not take advantage of it!
I prefer to get up early and hit the trails before they fill up with people. Plus- with kids' sports and activities, we always have some sort of a family commitment on Sunday afternoons. But trying to convince the kiddos to be up and out the door by 7:30 am was tough!
Hiking With Kids: It's All About the Rewards!
They needed the right bribe (I mean, offer them an incentive program!).
So we came up with the idea that for every 10 hikes they come along on, they earned a trip to their favorite ice cream or frozen yogurt shop, and can order any size they want and load on as many toppings they want!
And that's how our Sunday Morning Hiking Club was formed!
You can find more great resources for busy Moms over on my Amazon influencer page !
The next Sunday that rolled around after we announced our new hiking club “incentive plan”- we had four kids up and ready by 7 am!
And while they did spend part of that hike talking about what kind of ice cream they planned to order after they complete 10 hikes (salted caramel is the one I am dreaming about!), my husband Steve also threw another “game” into the mix to keep them motivated along the trail:
Each week he offers a “bounty” for different types of animals. For example, this weekend- the first person to spot a deer earned $1. Tree frogs were worth $2 to the first spotter, and if they were lucky enough to see a possum- it would have been worth $5!
Once we get home, we try to cook a big Sunday breakfast together and make something that we don't have time to make during the week- like Belgian Waffles or Cheese Blintzes with Berry Compote Topping!
Want to Download the Free Printable Hiking Tracker?
Simply sign up below to join the MomOf6 community, and you'll be directed to a thank you page with access instructions!
Looking for some great ideas for your DIY Summer Camp?
- If you are looking for ideas of things to do with the kids this summer- check out my DIY Summer Camp resource page!
- Free Printable Summer Schedule