How to Go for a Hike With Children

Hey all you logical people who put the day before the month:  it’s still 11/11/13!  Now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about taking two small children to the park for a “hike”.  Is it possible?  Define “hike”.  If you mean getting the kids out of the house for exercise whereupon you walk down a path enjoying scenery, no, it’s not possible.  But there’s so much more to do in the outdoors than look at trees or bushes or whatever, oh my God, don’t be such a nerd, Dad!  How about free-climbing up rock piles taller than a two story house and then mounting the back of a majestic and tame mountain lion like an Amazonian warrior?

CH on mountain lion

Or perhaps if you are two years old and have no sense or judgment you want to run toward the giant sign that says, “CAUTION:  BEES IN AREA” that also has a picture of a bee the size of a broiler chicken.  Then find a small pool of water with a superhighway of ants scurrying along the rim, reach in and splash water on yourself while ants climb over your feet and legs in a worrying reproduction of killer ants about to devour an entire beef carcass.  Would this be a good idea?  Let’s ask Number Two who just did this VERY THING:

Number Two park closeup

What about the hike?  Now that we’ve come all this way, surely we should have the children trudge along the trail in mopey misery, complaining about shoes, tiredness, pebbles, climbing up hills, climbing down hills, walking SO far?  Hmm, this is a trick question.  Instead you should load up the kids in the off-road wagon you’ve brought in case of severe young-un lethargy and pull them up and down the trails like a pack mule, bent double under the load of two grain-fattened children.  Do the children see the delight and tasty irony of remaining seated for their “hike”?  Let’s ask if they are getting exercise.

CH & N2 wagon 1

So here it is, the way to take children to the Great Outdoors.  Bring a wagon, prepare for interesting and possibly dangerous diversions, and then drag them down the trail on a sledge or in a wheeled cart while they scream with laughter and throw rocks at you.  Yaaaaaaayyyyyyy!

CH & N2 wagon 2

Writer, architect, father, husband.

Posted in Parenting, San Diego Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

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