Every child needs nature – to live, learn, and thrive now and in the future. According to a national survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average American child spends at least 7 hours on gadgets and technology per day. That’s over 53 hours a week! Meanwhile, researchers at King’s College in London suggest that constant exposure to nature can help improve your health, mind, and overall well-being.
As parents, we lose our track of time by spending long hours at work, running errands, or making dinner than focus on spending it with our loved ones. Thankfully, Seattle is one of the best family-friendly cities in the United States, with tons of activities and adventures, from the Woodland Park Zoo to the Seattle Aquarian. So, if you’re looking for a great way to spend time together as a family, why not take a hike in the woods. In this guide, you will discover how to plan the perfect family hiking trip in Seattle.
Plan for safety
The biggest preparation you need to make your trip stress-free is safety. Consider a portable GPS, just in case your phone has no signal. Make sure you have all the gear for safe trekking and defense if you happen to run into an aggressive wild animal. Most of all, don’t go off and hike alone or allow the older kids to go astray. Those forest paths and woods might be stunning, but they can also be dangerous.
Prevent bug bites
When exposed to nature, children will most likely get a few bug bites or two. However, there are plenty of child-friendly insect repellent to keep them at bay. According to the American College of Healthcare Sciences, lemon and eucalyptus oil are found to be effective natural insect repellents. Not only are essential oils safe for young hikers and the local wildlife, children won’t have to worry about mosquitoes while they collect leaves.
Hit the trails!
With over twelve hiking trails to choose from in Seattle, it can be difficult for any parent to decide which path is best for your next family trip. The good news is that there are plenty of trails to choose from, such as Discovery Park, Schmitz Preserve Park, Grace Cole Nature Park, and Wilburton Hill Park. For families with toddlers in tow, consider the Discover Park’s Wolf Tree Nature Trail. Not only is this a great option for little ones to explore, you can also head down to the South Beach Trail and visit the lighthouse.
Start a family tradition by going hiking at least once a month. When out on a hike, make sure to collect all your trash and prevent loitering in the natural parks. After all, kids are the future caretakers of our lands, so it is up to us to teach them how to take care of it.