Last week the kids and I took an early morning trip to the playground. We had some errands to run and the weather was nice so I thought a playground rump would help the multiple stores errand to go a little smoother. Not only was the morning a perfect summer morning, not to warm, not to cool but the playground wasn’t crowded or loud.
After we spent some times on the slides and gave the playground a run for its money, we decided to give the nature center a look. The playground that we visited is just a small part of Cool Creek park it also offers a nature center and a couple of trails throughout some acres of woods. It was good, a lot of turtles but James and Norah are still too young to really get the most out of it. Before getting back into the van, we wandered into the wooded area and check out the trails. James liked walking through the woods and going over the bridge but we didn’t have the right shoes with us and I didn’t bring any water or snacks with us so we headed back to the van and I told him that we would come back tomorrow.
And unlike a lot of my mommy promises I say throughout the day, we did. The next day, we put on our tennis shoes, made sure we had enough snacks and water and hit the trails. I didn’t capture any pictures from the first hike but we had a good time. James played in the creek a little, took a tumble but surprisingly didn’t seem bothered by the cold water or wet clothes.
On Thursday of this week, we made our second hike. This time I made sure to dress James in his swim trunks and to bring him a change of clothes for after the hike that a left in the van. I let James lead the way, we didn’t stay on one certain trail or path and ended up doing a lap in the park but that’s okay. It lasted about an hour which I think was good enough for all of us. My goal for our hikes is that maybe by this time next year, we can go on longer hikes at different parks and really enjoy them as a family. Even though it doesn’t release as much of James’ energy as I would have liked it to, it’s still such a nice way to start the morning off. James and I had some interesting conversions while walking around Big/ Small trees and trees crashing when they fall. It was really nice to spend this time with them without any interuptions.
So for those whole are curious about what I packed for a hike with two toddlers, here it is:
- Camelbac backpack – I’ve had this bag for a long time and it’s perfect to take hiking. It’s super lightweight, has a lot of pockets and even has a water reserve if I want to use it.
- Small hand towel – after our first hike and James playing in the water. I realized that I would need to have a small towel to wipe his feet off before I put his shoes on.
- Extra socks for James – Just in case he gets his shoes/ socks wet. I don’t have room to carry an extra pair of shoes but at least dry socks will help against blisters.
- First-Aid Kit – While the trails aren’t very long. If James or I were to fall and get hurt, having band-aids on hand would be nice.
- Water Bottle – One for James and one for me. Both of the ones in the pictures are stainless steel wall bottles. Mine I got at bed bath and beyond and James was from Toy-R-Us.
- Snacks – I usually do some kind of trail mix for James, a pouch for Norah, and a Larabar for me.
- Sunglasses – While where we are currently hiking it’s not too sunny but I like to have them just in case.
- Diapers and Wipes – Just in case someone has a huge blowout. I do keep extra diapers in the van for backups.
- A little pouch for my cards and license – I made this small zipper pouch (you can find them on my Etsy page) but it’s the perfect size for my debit card and license so I don’t have to carry my huge wallet or risk leaving it in the van.
A couple things about Norah’s carrier. It’s a BabySteps Ergonomic Baby Carrier . I’ve had a couple wraps/ baby carriers but I was never really sold on them and knew that walking for a while, it wouldn’t turn out well. So I did a little research and found one on Amazon, it had good reviews and wasn’t crazy expensive like a lot of the baby carriers are. The cool thing about the carrier is that there is a little ledge or seat for her to sit on and I can have her face in or out, go on my back or on my side. The only downside is the aquaily blue/green color but it isn’t a huge issue. Overall I’ve very happy with the carrier and would recommend it to anyone.
So that’s the story of our first two hikes and what I pack to keep us going. I hope everyone is able to find something that makes them excited to go do as a family and helps them reconnect and enjoy each other’s company more. Bonus if it wears the kids out and leads to good naps.