Having recently returned from a wonderful family vacation, some of which was spent hiking in the backcountry near Lake Louise, I’ve got a new trick for encouraging little hikers along the trail that I picked up from some of our group members. The ‘hiking fairy’ is a variation on the candy theme that is even more effective than the promise of an M&M every 50 steps or so.
Just like kids want to believe in the tooth fairy when they think they will be left a little something, kids want to believe in the hiking fairy too—especially when they think that fairy might leave them a candy or two ahead on the trail. Like on a nice, easy to spot rock, for example. So assign an adult who is ahead on the trail to drop little piles of the candy du jour (at least one per kid still coming up the trail) from time to time and watch the motivation levels soar. Sweet trails!