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7 kid-friendly games to play on trail walks and nature hikes

Need an idea for a fun game to play on a weekend hike this fall? Active for Life (full article link HERE) has a great list of homemade hiking games your family can try while enjoying the great outdoors!

1. Giddy up

Thanks to Karen for this idea: she and her kids make hiking more fun by riding “horsies” down the trails, making “gates,” and using secret passwords to go through.

2. Follow the Leader

This simple game is an adaptation of an Active For Life activity. Encourage your child to “lead” you through the trail, over, around, and under obstacles, incorporating as many trees, shrubs, and rocks along the path as possible.

3. Nature scavenger hunt

Create a list of natural treasures and prepare each participant with a bucket and marker. Next step: Hunt! You can find a scavenger hunt template on our Pinterest page. For a fun twist on the scavenger theme try this nature ninja scavenger hunt where the hunt becomes focused on interacting with nature, rather than collecting it.

4. Geocaching

For a tech-savvy update on the nature scavenger hunt, try geocaching in a nearby outdoor space. You can find out if any “caches” are in your neighbourhood trails by visiting

5. I Spy

Walk and talk your way down the trail by testing each other’s eyesight in nature. If you want to prolong the game throw out “I spy something green” when it’s your turn.

6. Hide-and-Go-Seek: Trail edition

As the “seeker” stays back, the “hiders” run a short distance ahead in search of a safe place out of sight. Be sure to predetermine acceptable boundaries (and don’t forget to look up).

7. Pick up sticks

Something as simple as choosing the perfect hiking stick can give kids a sense of ownership over the trail. Bonus: leaving the sticks at the trailhead can teach little ones to pay it forward and continue the search on the next hike.

Happy trails!