Monday, January 5, 2015

Photo Monday: Take the Kids Hiking!

In keeping with my new blog plan, instead of a book review, today I'm doing a sort of a trip review...a few shots of the kids enjoying the outdoors through the years, in hopes of reminding folks that there's no gift for the kids like taking them outside. I apologize for some of the photos--many of these pre-date our digital photography, and not all the scans turned out well.

Start them right from the beginning. Remember, the kid is a science experiment. Watch and see what happens!
Arches National Park, at 9 months

Teach them things like scrambling early, and they will gain skill and confidence even faster than Mom's hair turns grey with worry. Guess what, Mom? They need to learn, and you have to deal with it!
Joshua Tree National Park

Yes, getting very, very dirty is part of the deal. It doesn't hurt them. I learned that from a woman's diary of the Oregon Trail! I never forgot where she wrote that "we learned that a baby doesn't die if it's not bathed for 3 months." Oy. One week? I can do it! (Tip: when they are babies, find or make nylon pants. Those brush off easily when they've been crawling in the dirt. By the time they are 4 & 5, as here, it's a lost cause).
Green Lake, Sierra Nevada Mountains, CA

Even when they still need furry friends in their packs, they can hike and camp and have a great time!
Lost Creek Wilderness, CO
Kids can always find things to do and play with in the outdoors. Amazing how much there is to explore when the screens and keyboards are gone, and especially if there is a body of water about (note to parents: plan hikes and camping trips around water, but be careful of whitewater!)
Caribou Lake, Indian Peaks Wilderness, CO

In the mountains or at the beach, there are toys everywhere! Boys, at least, seem to be able to throw things into water/float them away endlessly.
Stinson Beach, CA
 Expose kids to as many varied environments as you can, so that they see that the world has endless variety.
 The Desert!
Death Valley NP, CA, during the record bloom of 2005

Go Underground! Science lurks everywhere, like when you discover that it's cold underground, even when it's hot hot hot on the surface
Lava Beds National Monument, CA.

Get cold! A single-digit day with high winds, and walking on a lake were new concepts for our California boys (tip for other warm-climate folks visiting the cold: we made a thrift shop nearly our  first stop, and picked up a couple of warm jackets for the boys, which could be left behind when we finished).
Maine at the NewYear. It made sense to us.
If you go outdoors, maybe you can even make some new friends.
A boy and someone else's dog--the only kind he got to experience.

When camping you will almost certainly enjoy some quality family time.
If there's only one chair, you might get a kid on your lap.
And, finally, the kids might even spend more time reading!
A tent is a good place to read at the end of a long day.

I just wanted to share a few photos and remind everyone that being outside, in whatever kind of nature you have, is good for kids. If you can take them to experience different kinds of places, it's even better. But everyone can visit the park, or dig a hole in the back yard. Let kids experience the earth!

I have linked this post up to the Kid Lit Blog Hop to share my feelings about being outdoors as well as reading. Drop over to the Hop and see what else is being written and reviewed about this week!

©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2015


  1. Nice pictures. Love that you didn't shy away from taking your babies or toddlers out into the big wide world of nature. We never stopped camping or strolling through the woods with our babies either. Outdoorsy stuff is just a part of our life - camping, fishing, hiking...all that fun stuff.
    I just love how a walk in the woods can bring out the best in the kids. I wrote about it this summer -
    I like the new Monday posts - keep em coming.

  2. Thanks, 'Worm! I'll check out your post, too. I'm glad to see you are still out there--you know we've declared you dead over at Goodreads, right?

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks! I think the boys even know how lucky they are. Mostly.

  4. This is so inspiring. I wish we lived somewhere so close to the wonderful places you have depicted. We are enjoying a lovely summer here with a few 41 degree days, so we are doing our best to go outside and then retreating again to the air conditioning LOL. Thanks for sharing your wonderful adventures with us, we will do our best to get out doors.....

    1. Ugh! I am no fan of hot weather, so I sympathize with your challenge! It's tough for people in some climates, but probably worse for those in the inner city (though city parks are better than no nature at all). Get out early and late!

  5. I always enjoyed being outside as a kid and still love it today!
    You did get a reading photo in there too!

    Naila Moon from Kid Lit Blog Hop

    1. Oh, yeah, I had to put in one of them reading! Our guys do read more when camping and backpacking than any other time, since the electronics don't come along (I read less, because keeping up the family journal of what we did usually wipes me out at the end of a day of hiking).

      A couple of trips in rainy conditions were the best for reading--lots of tent time :)

  6. Such a great post and I love all of your adventurous photos. We have always spent lots of time exploring the world around us with our kids. One of our favorite vacations is to take camping trips all across the state. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Always nice to hear of other people who take the kids outside! I have to admit, especially when the kids were young, it was SO much nicer to be in a campground with them than in a motel room where there was nothing for them to do!


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