What’s one thing you could do as a parent to ensure your kid has more confidence, autonomy, and ability to critically think? It isn’t some expensive tutor or a fancy school. It’s not an app or weekly therapy sessions (although that can definitely help). It’s much simpler than that.
It’s going for a hike.
It’s true. Research has shown that bringing your kiddos outside has a huge impact on not only their physical development but their mental development as well. Kids who frequently go outside improve their agility, their balance, and muscles because they tend to challenge their body more than kids who don’t go outside. But more importantly, children who spend time outside learn crucial life skills at a young age.
Life Skills Learned by Going Outside
- They learn how to problem solve, oftentimes on the fly. Say there’s a huge granite slab on the trail (aka anywhere in New Hampshire or Maine) but they see some smaller rock steps going up the side. They’ll learn the easiest way up the trail is to head up the steps and not the granite slab. Or they’ll challenge themselves by heading straight up the granite slab. It’s a win-win.
- Children learn to effectively communicate with others. If there’s an extra slippery section of the trail, they’ll likely let others know about it instinctually.
- Outside play will also foster independence and confidence. There are tons of hazards in the world and being on the trail is no different. There’s a sense of safety walking along a trail that you’ve walked before, allowing your kid to run free ahead of you. They might fall, they might get scraped, but they’ll learn to tread carefully next time.
- It also will increase their creativity. There’s nothing wrong with putting your kid in front of a screen especially for all those tired parents out there. But when you get your kids away from tv shows and video games, something magical happens. Suddenly, they’re hunting dinosaurs or looking out for the pinecone fairies or maybe they’re just listening to the birds singing their songs on the wind. Either way, their creativity juices get flowing and helps in all aspects of life.
- Children will have a deep understanding and respect for the environment when they get outside more often. This means they’ll learn all about these wild ecosystems and, in turn, want to help conserve them for generations to come.
Kit Supply + Co. Understands the Importance of Getting Kids Outside
And the reason Kit Supply + Co. knows this is true is because the in-house writer (aka the person writing this post) and her son are living proof! Sarah Lamagna has been getting her son out on the trail ever since he was a tiny baby. At the ripe age of five-and-a-half, he’s done over 350 hikes where half of those have been on his own two feet.
Sarah is so adamant about all the great benefits the outdoors has on kids that she wrote a book to get more families outside. Her debut book, Hiking with Kids New England, comes out May 15, 2023, and she’s pulling out all the stops for her book launch. It will include a fun presentation about her essential items to bring on a hike with kids, lots of treats, a hike, and a giveaway!
Here are all the deets (registration is required but the event is free!):
Date: May 20, 2023
Time: 1:00 pm (small presentation starts at 1:30)
Location: Rogers Park Conservation Area (park at and enter through the Kittery Community Center) in Kittery, ME
Things to bring: shoes to hike in and a good attitude (although we’ll have bubbles for those who have frowns)
Goodies: custom M&Ms, hiking safety cards, wildlife safety cards, whistles, and bubbles!
Plus, for those who have bought a book, you’ll be entered to win a Topo Designs waist pack full of hiking goodies.
If you can’t make the afternoon event (or even if you can), you can also attend the parents-only event happening the same day where cocktails will be served as well as a trail mix bar! Followed by an unhinged presentation by the author herself about how NOT to go hiking with your kids. Here are the deets for that event:
Date: May 20, 2023
Time: 5:00 pm (unhinged presentation starts at 6:00 pm)
Location: Kin Kittery (above Kit Supply + Co.)
Things to bring: absolutely nothing
Goodies: trail mix and cocktails and also hilarity from Sarah’s presentation
Books can be bought through Kit Supply + Co. here or you can buy the book on the day of from the author herself.