It seems like a simple thing to do... take your toddler on a walk or short hike. But toddlerscan be complicated and taking them out unprepared can sometimes turn from a fun, healthy activity to a natural disaster! As the icy sidewalks clear up and the spring weather nears, it's a great time to take your little one on an adventure - just follow these tips and you'll be good to go!
Be prepared for anything. Bring a small backpack or diaper bag with essential supplies such as: water, an easy-to-eat snack, cell phone, hat, diapers and wipes. You might also want to bring some containers or plastic bags for rock collecting and little activities.
Dress appropriately. Spring time is mucky so make sure your little guy or gal has the proper rain gear (splash pants) and footwear on. Rain boots are a great choice - just make sure they fit properly and always wear socks to avoid blisters (the walk-ruiner!) If it's not so mucky, some toddler footwear with grips and proper cushioning are a great choice.
Plan a route ahead of time. In case the unexpected happens, like an accident or a fall, make sure you're never too far from home or your vehicle. You don't want to be lugging your inconsolable toddler back TOO far. Also, consider whether or not you will be bringing a stroller and make sure the route you're taking is stroller friendly.
Be realistic. Don't make this your calorie burning workout of the day. Your toddler will be stopping frequently to explore and play and that's what the adventure is for, after all! (Also, if your child wants to ride a trike, realize you may be carrying it home so weigh your options carefully... Been there, done that!)
Stop for pictures! These are some of the best times to get candid photos of your kids - when they are with Mom and/or Dad, outside and just having a blast getting mucky and figuring out what the world is about.
Have fun on your walk or hike with your little one!