The Family Hike


I’€™m fortunate. My family loves to be outside. And we happen to live close to a fantastic warren of forest trails. So we take every opportunity to venture into Lynn Canyon, in the mountains 25 minutes north of Vancouver.
Getting into the fresh air is not only invigorating; our hikes provide countless opportunities to share great experiences with our kids.

We teach our children, ages 2 and 5, about the wonders of nature. By asking questions and encouraging observation, we give our children their first science experiences. We look at plants and fungi. We search out signs of animal life.

And while not all of our hikes are vigorous’€”we do enjoy a leisurely stroll from time to time’€”every moment outdoors is an opportunity to develop and refine fundamental movement skills.

We hop over branches. We climb and leap off stumps. We practice balancing while walking on fallen logs.

Our children quickly became confident in performing these skills and are comfortable enough on the uneven’€”and often muddy’€”ground that they are often racing ahead, and blazing new trails in the underbrush.

In fact, we think of the outdoors as an activity environment for development of physical literacy. To our minds, being able to move in the natural world is as important as being able to do things on the ground, in the water, on snow and ice, and in the air.

So get outside! It’€™s possible to find hiking spots even in the most urban of Canada’€™s cities. You don’€™t need a large area, just the right outlook. And your kids will learn and develop skills while having fun.

Blaine Kyllo has written for a variety of print and online publications including, the Globe & Mail, the Georgia Straight and Vancouver Magazine. Also an editor, producer and the father of two young children, he lives in North Vancouver.


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