Exit the crowds and noise! This summer, all you want is to reconnect with nature. Hiking and walking in the forest are perfect ways to enjoy some fresh air without breaking the bank. They offer an excellent opportunity to have fun while learning. However, if your plan is simply to announce a long day of walking, you might lose your troops before even reaching the first kilometer! Don't worry, we have gathered the best tips to motivate both young and old to explore nature, all while enjoying a night at your favorite Campanile hotel. Follow the guide!
As you embark on your adventure through the fields, you may encounter some challenges, such as convincing the youngest member, who is reluctant to walk, and the oldest one, who is glued to their screen. But fear not! With a little persuasion and careful planning, you can bring everyone together and create lasting memories. Before even lacing up your hiking boots, take the time to prepare your family outing, ensuring it becomes a cherished experience for all.
A Tailor-Made Itinerary
Europe is filled with magnificent sites—mountains, lakes, forests—where you can rediscover nature and have a wonderful day with your family. Before deciding on the perfect destination for your hike, make sure the terrain is suitable for your little group of explorers. Climbing experts estimate that a child walks the equivalent of one kilometer per year of their age, with an elevation gain of 100 meters. So, an 8-year-old can cover approximately 8 kilometers with an elevation gain of 800 meters. If they are under 5 years old, anticipate the weight of the baby carrier !
A Theme Full of Promises
Simply counting kilometers might not be enough to motivate your young hikers. You'll win their hearts by choosing a destination that has something special to offer, a touch of magic! Does your child dream of being a knight? Allow them to wear their finest costume and head to a historic site. Do they prefer swimming over walking? Promise them a water source or a waterfall along the way. Are they fascinated by animals? Include a nature reserve in your itinerary or choose a route focused on wildlife and flora. Be creative and find the best way to combine nature and fun!
The right equipment to handle any situation!
A successful family nature walk is one that goes smoothly. Make sure you have the essentials with you: good shoes to prevent blisters and refusals to move forward, plenty of water and snacks for breaks, suitable clothing for the activity, a first aid kit, and a healthy dose of good spirits! Pro tip: don't overload yourself unnecessarily! From the age of 7, children can take responsibility for their own belongings as long as their backpack doesn't exceed 10% of their body weight. And don't forget to check the weather conditions from your Campanile room.
Your challenge: turn this trail into a path of curiosity. While nature has much to offer, sometimes we need to be creative to help children perceive all its riches. Here are some ideas to keep them engaged and curious:
The Scientist's Notebook
Before setting off, equip your child with a notebook and a pen and assign them an important mission. Whether it's identifying flowers, documenting animal tracks, collecting natural materials, or drawing rare species, transform this walk into an adventure of discovering the environment. It's a unique opportunity to raise awareness while sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm!
The Sensory Journey
Walking in nature is a great opportunity to awaken our senses that are dulled by the city. Take advantage of this walk to listen to birdsong, observe landscapes and colors, smell the plants, taste the water from a river, touch the moss, the soil... Use breaks to close your eyes and challenge your children's senses with mini-games! The first one to find something wins a hug from a tree!
An essential part of forest walks, a treasure hunt appeals to explorers of all ages. From nature quizzes to lists of treasures to collect, and even the famous "geocaches" with their valuable clues, the internet is full of resources to help you organize your route and entertain your little adventurers. They won't even realize how far they're walking!
The Superhero Minute
In the mountains or the forest, under proper supervision, explore the basics of climbing by playing "rock to rock" or climbing trees. For one minute, it's strictly forbidden to touch the ground – they must find other solutions! But be careful, don't overestimate your superpowers!
In addition to the activities along the way, give this nature day a goal to achieve as a family, taking into account everyone's interests. Once again, we've gathered some ideas to extend the pleasure after the hike.
A Herbarium for Grandma
Did your child collect a bunch of leaves, moss, and other plant souvenirs during the walk? Why not transform the loot into a beautiful herbarium that tells the story of this expedition? Grab some glue, a few colored pencils, and a bit of imagination, and you're all set. You can even cheat a little by using an app to identify the names of the plants. Grandma will be thrilled!
A Hiking Video!
Is your teenager reluctant to leave their phone at the hotel? No problem! Let them capture this nature day on camera and create a beautiful video tribute for the whole family! Landscapes, shared moments, unexpected discoveries—they can film whatever they want. The only downside is that you won't be able to claim you're not out of breath!
Invent New Colors
Is your child a creative soul? Offer them a unique workshop: creating their own vegetable-based ink using the plants collected during your hike. Like medieval monks, immerse oak leaves in a pot of hot water and let them work their magic. It also works beautifully with poppies or violets. Just make sure to follow local gathering guidelines!
A Gesture for the Planet
Classic but effective, this last suggestion is clearly beneficial for everyone. To instill in our children the desire to protect the environment, the most effective way is to help them understand the impact we have on it. Before setting off, provide each person with a garbage bag, gloves, and a strong motivation to leave nature clean and welcoming by picking up the litter along the way. The one who comes back with the biggest haul gets the first turn in the shower!
After all these efforts and wonderful discoveries, a cozy bed awaits you in your Campanile room! And because nature will surely work up your appetite, come and enjoy some quality time together at Campanile restaurants, where you can recharge your batteries all together with the XXL Family sharing platter! Here's a handy tip: with the Family Vibes offer, you get a 25% discount on your stay when you book 2 or more rooms.