This month’s mini-challenge is all about moving miles with kids. Having trouble getting your little ones motivated? I have a four year old son. He is just old enough to not need assistance with a stroller, pack or trailer, but still too young to move as quickly as my body craves to go. And frankly, he just doesn’t want to go sometimes. Here are six tips to help get your little ones motivated and get some fun family miles in.
What does your kid like to do?
My kiddo is a big fan of biking right now, so we go biking A LOT! Doing something that they’re excited about motivates them to get out the door.
Don’t push too hard.
Even though my kiddo enjoys biking, he does have his limits. I know about how many miles he can go before he’s going to start getting tired and frustrated, which is not fun for either of us. I find if I push him to that point, he’s less likely to want to go again soon, so we just go at a level he’s happy with.
Have a goal.
Kids love to be busy accomplishing something. Some examples of things we like to do include geocaching, picnicking, hunting for particular mushrooms, berries, sheds, etc., walking to the creek to throw sticks in the creek for the dog, picking up trash. The possibilities are endless! And it makes getting miles more fun!
Adjust your expectations.
With little kids, it’s important to keep in mind that their bodies just don’t have the strength or even the incentive to get your heart pumping the way you might. And boy do they like to stop often to explore! Just know that with them in tow, you will be moving slower and stopping to explore often. Accept it and enjoy. Get your cardio in alone when you’re able.
My kiddo will often come to me and say, “Let’s climb up the mountain today.” Or something similar. We, of course, all have things to get done and places to be, but try to indulge their whims when you can. It just makes them so happy!
If all else fails, bribe them.
Out doing something and starting to hear some whining? “Hey, maybe when we’re done we’ll go get an ice cream!” “Wanna hit the playground after we finish our ride?” It’s amazing how the whining stops and the body gets moving when there’s something exciting to look forward to at the end. I am past this stage right now, but for young kiddos in strollers and packs, I found snacks to work well. Maybe some music on your phone or a toy or book to play with.
What works for your kids? Let us know and have fun on your family adventures!