Here are some ideas to make your hike a little more interesting!
Plaster casts of animal tracks
Breakfast Hike – Plan with the parents ahead of time to go on an early morning hike. It’s fun to go from house to house and wake up the girls for the adventure! Then, while on the trail, stop every twenty minutes to eat a new breakfast item – donuts, fruit, bacon jerky, etc.
Colors – Before the hike, give each girl a piece of paper to fold into four sections and label each section with a color of their choice. While on the hike, stop several times to look around and identify all the colors. Have the girls write the things with their colors in the correct section on their paper.
Grab Bag – Collect 15 nature items, such as pinecones, nuts, shells, etc., and place each in small paper bag. Pass the bags around the circle and let them try to identify the object by feeling the outside of the bag.
Inch Hike – Give each girl a small ruler and find as many items as possible that are one inch long.
Micro hike – Bring along a 3-5 foot piece of string. In a few spots of the hike, make a circle with the string and have all the girls get on their bellies and observe the microenvironment inside the circle inch by inch.
Nature Noises – Stop along the hike at different points and sit or stand very still and listen.
As they hear a new sound, they raise their hand as a signal. They can “collect” different sounds on their fingers, holding up a finger for each sound they hear. Listen for birds, animals, wind in the trees, falling leaves, or rushing water.
Nature Photography – pair with a photography activity before going on the hike and have girls take pictures finding cool things to photograph. It’s up to you whether you want them to hold the camera themselves or whether the leader is the designated photographer.
Seasons Hike – pick a hike that is accessible in multiple seasons, and have them observe/document/discuss the changes that occur in that environment.
Silent Hike – This hike can be difficult to accomplish but powerful in helping boys appreciate the world around them. Calm the girls by having them sit alone and a few feet apart for a short period of time. On your signal, the group begins to move along the trail tapping shoulders and pointing to share the sights and sounds of the hike. When you sense the girls have had about enough silence, break again to share a scripture or quote about the beauty of nature and feel the Spirit, then continue the rest of the hike in a normal manner.
Textures Hike – Have the girls search for the following textures (instructing them to observe, not take): hairiest leaf, softest leaf, something cool, something warm, something dry, something wet, smoothest rock, roughest rock, something bumpy, the roughest twig, etc.