Hiking with Children – Printables & Activities to Get Outdoors

December 20, 2020

Annette Breedlove

Annette Breedlove

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

My kids love being outside. Whether playing with friends, hiking, going to the beach, or just hanging out around the campfire, outside is definitely their favorite place to be. Me on the other hand, not so much. Oh sure I love getting outside and exploring nature but truth be told, I want it to be optimal conditions. Hiking with children isn’t the easiest of tasks, especially when you’re not an “outdoorsy” person yourself. But that doesn’t mean I don’t give it my all.

Mom hiking with children

Several years ago I was working long hours with a deadline looming. It was a beautiful spring day so my husband took the kids (all 5 of them at the time) on a hike at one of our state parks. They were so excited to go on a hike and explore new areas of this park we had visited before. Only things didn’t go quite as planned. They hiked a little further than planned, got soaked walking through the creek (several times), ran out of water, and ended up on the other side of the park from the parking lot. Needless to say, my kids affectionately refer to it as the “hike of death” and talk about it to this day.

Thankfully since then, we have learned a lot and improved in our preparations. We learned that taking shorter hikes with our children are better for us. And that super hot days are not good for our family, even if we’re properly hydrated. We have also learned what and how much to take on our hikes so that we are properly prepared. Even with two little ones in tow, our hikes have been much more enjoyable for everyone and we even look forward to getting out into nature together.

If you’re new to hiking or want to make sure you don’t leave anything behind, we found this day hike packing list and these tips for what to take and what to leave behind to be quite helpful. Not sure how to incorporate different subjects into your hike? Check out this post to see how you can include five subjects into your trip.

Hiking with children can be a fun and educational experience too! Take along some paper to journal, a nature scavenger hunt, or create a unit study based on what you see to expand your learning.

Journaling is a wonderful way to help children be creative as they reflect on a topic or idea. Create your own hiking logs or journal entries with these freebies!

FREE Plant Terminology Copywork Notebook

FREE Leaf Terminology Vocabulary Copywork Notebook

FREE Audubon Birds Notebooking Journal

drawing of birds in tree branch with overlay - Audubon Birds Notebooking FREE Guide

FREE 80-Page Nature Collection Journal from Life Abundantly

Hiking Log Entry Pages from The Crazy Outdoor Mama

Nature Scavenger Hunt Book from Early Learning Ideas

Free Printable Kids Nature Journal from My Mountain Wild

Tips & Prompts for Journaling Your Hikes from Dear Summit

FREE Animal and Plant Cell Notebooking Journal

plant cells with overlay - Animal & Plant Cells Notebooking Free Unit


Nature Scavenger Hunts for Hiking

Scavenger hunts are an easy way to add a little fun to your hiking trip. They can be done in all seasons and for all ages.

Nature Scavenger Hunt Printable from Eating Richly

Nature Scavenger Hunt for Kids & Tweens and Teens from Carla Schauer Studio

Eye Spy Nature Scavenger Hunt from The Joys of Boys

Winter Scavenger Hunts from In All You Do

sample pages of Winter Scavenger Hunts

FREE Nature Scavenger Hunt PDF Printable for Kids from The Pragmatic Parent

Forest Scavenger Hunt for Kids from Edventures with Kids

Hiking Scavenger Hunt Printable for Kids from Make and Takes

Nature Bingo Printable Activity from Momgineer

Fall Senses Scavenger Hunt from In All You Do

Nature Scavenger Hunt for Kids from Craftivity Designs

Creepy-Crawly & Bug Hunt for Kids {with Free Printable} from Worth Writing For

Hiking with Kids FREE Printable Scavenger Hunt from Views From a Step Stool

Nature Scavenger Hunt – Free printable from The Printables Fairy

Summer Scavenger Hunts Bundle from In All You Do

Samples of the Summer Scavenger Hunts Bundle


Unit Studies about Nature

Whether you create a unit study before or after your hike, they can be a wonderful way to add more depth to your trip. Check out these free unit studies for exploring nature.

Wildflowers Unit Study & Lapbook from Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus

Make Your Own Mineral Identification Kit from The Barefoot Mom

Why Don’t Rivers Run Straight? A Hands On Demonstration from The Barefoot Mom

FREE All About Insects Nature Study Printable Packet from Mom. Wife. Homeschool Life

FREE Printable Bird Book Nature Study from Real World Learners

FREE Nature Study for the Winter from Ben and Me

Easy and Fun Fall Nature Study Ideas from Table Life Blog

FREE Biome and Habitat Notebooking Research Journal

Trees in nature with overlay - Biome & Habitat Notebooking Unit



Find more homeschool resources on my Pinterest boards!


Mom hiking with children

Related resources

  • ligina nd non living things worksheets

    Free Living and Non Living Things Worksheets for Kids

  • The best nature books for kids and homeschoolers

    The Best Nature Books for Kids and Homeschoolers

  • Learning about types of biomes and what lives there. Graphics of different types of biomes

    Learning About Types of Biomes and What Lives There

  • honeybee

    Facts About Bees and Beekeeping for Kids

  • FREE Resources for Discovering Yosemite National Park text overlay with photo of nationalpark.

    Explore Yosemite National Park: Facts & Things to Do With Kids

  • Free Resources for Discovering Glacier National Park text overlay on photo of glacier national park.

    Discover Glacier National Park: Facts for Kids & Educational Resources