As we head into Fall, between social distance learning, social distance dining out, no movie theaters, no birthday parties – the lack of human contact is hard on kids. Seeing everyone in masks, and the new normal – must take a toll on those little forming brains. How confusing to be so carefree one day and so restricted the next. Even our favorite beach we usually head to was restricting entrance to residents only. There was a huge lack of ‘things to do’.
I found myself trying to think of ideas of what we could do together, to alleviate his fears, alleviate his boredom and get some much needed exercise. I wanted us to do something close to nature and we decided to start hiking. We hiked with my ex husband last week, this weekend we hiked alone and we walked a surprising 7 miles! We stopped along the way for cookie and water breaks. We picked up stones and threw them into the tiny rivers and creeks. We watched for birds. We picked up leaves and collected unusual color ones to bring home. We found long branches and played sword fighting. We had a blast.
This is a perfect socially distant activity with a child. It’s great exercise. It’s away from other people. We kept our masks close under our chins and when a lone jogger approached we would cover our faces appropriately. The best part is it’s good for the soul and close to nature. We slept so well that evening.
Here are some reasons hiking is a fantastic activity for this Fall;
- Hiking clears your mind and is a stress reducer
- It’s great all over body exercise
- Being closer to nature we feel more connected to the earth (and wonder at it)
- Hiking reduces anxiety and depression
- Hiking improves the quality of sleep
- It helps us feel more connected to each other
- We feel more involved in the moment and less distracted by technology
- The changing colors of the foliage is outstandingly beautiful
- The crisp Fall air is invigorating
All of these things are priceless, and especially for bonding with our children during these unprecedented times. Go take a hike! You’ll be glad you did.
The Leatherstocking Trail connects all the way from Larchmont to Saxon Woods in White Plains