Every kid gets antsy staying in a classroom too long. So why not take the lesson outside? Yes it gives them a chance to burn off some steam, get some fresh air and move their bodies. But you could also teach them more than you bargained for. Here’s five things you can bet students didn’t know they could learn on a hike:
It’s good to wonder who or what wandered these trails before. Every trail has a hidden history ready to be explored, full of fun facts like why Pink Rock isn’t pink and who is Kitty and why does she have a Gorge named after her? A little bit of research has a big pay off and gives you a new understanding of the path you’re hiking.
A sense of direction
Is it right or is it left? Where did we just come from? Which way is north? Hiking is great for increasing spatial awareness, as to get around a marked trail, you’ll need to follow track markers and maps. You’ll gain a better awareness of where you’ve been and where you’re going; a great skill to navigate life.
While fancy yoga poses on a rocky outcrop are great for your instagram, you don’t need to do them to learn balance. Uneven gravel, rocky hills and slippery paths are all likely to make you wobble. When you wobble, your body is firing off those stabiliser and core muscles and learning how to keep you balanced.
Without getting all “woo-woo”, it is hard to be out in nature and not gain respect for the environment and everything in it. Stop and take a look at the waterfalls, the flowers, the birds, the animals. One of hiking’s biggest lessons is to teach us the importance of preserving the experience and protecting the environment for years to come.
Hiking isn’t all sun, rainbows and kumbaya. Mother nature also throws curveballs at us; rain makes the ground slippery, wind knocks us off balance and the heat dehydrates us. Then there’s the upward slog of hills, the downward impact on knees and sore feet from long hikes. But you know what? It’s all worth it for the feeling of moving and connecting with nature. Pushing through, that’s resilience and grit you’ve just learnt.