Hiking tips

Five hiking tips to inspire kids to be explorers like Dora

With the release of the Dora the Explorer movie, ‘Dora and the Lost City of Gold’, it’s the perfect time to inspire your little ones to explore the outdoors. Whether you’re new to backpacking, a true pro, or somewhere in between, try these tips for raising bold explorers.

Bilingual hikers like Dora can watch videos in both Spanish and English on the Washington Trails Association website for tips on family hiking. To get started, here are six tips to inspire young explorers.

Bring boots

While you might not be able to take a talking monkey in a fashionable pair of boots with you on your adventure (like Dora’s friend’s boots), a stuffed animal companion can be just as good. Plus, they offer great photo opportunities.

Get away from Swiper!

‘Swipe, no swipe!’ is something you might hear Dora say a lot. Swiper is a cunning fox who flies quite a bit in the series.

But don’t let any real-life Swiper go after any of your snacks. Although it may be tempting to feed birds or chase after squirrels, these critters need space. Instead, take a photo safely and ethically.

In the backpack loaded with things / and the Ten Essentials too!

Dora likes to sing. The songs are actually great for memorization, and if you change the lyrics to one of Dora’s anthems, it might help you remember what to pack. Also, packing together is a good way to get your kids used to the Ten essentials. Sing along while you pack your backpack with your little ones; you can go through each essential together and explain why they are important.

Anything they might need / be sure to bring inside for you!

I am the card (reader)!

If there’s somewhere you need to go / the map is the one you need to know!

Have your toddler follow the map like Dora does to help build her navigation skills. Together, you can learn how topographic lines work and have them match street signs with what they see on the map. There is already the perfect song to sing to make it even more fun.

Share your story like Dora

have your little one write a travel report is not only a good way to practice their writing skills, it can also inspire them to get out and write more. They can look for interesting things to put in the travel diary like Dora searches for clues.

The Washington Trails Association promotes hiking as a way to inspire people to protect Washington’s natural sites. Find hiking inspiration and find out how you can help protect the trails at www.wta.org.

Get more tips and inspiration

Visit the WTA page on Hiking with children.

Watch a video about the family hike in both Spanish and English.

Sign up for the WTAs Families go on a hike newsletter for the latest information on where families are hiking, seasonal hiking suggestions, and tips for keeping your kids engaged on your next family adventure.

Ten essentials

Before you hit any trail, no matter how easy, short, or close to home, make sure your backpack is loaded with the Ten Essentials. Any of these 10 items can help save your life. Wear each one and know how to use them.

1. Navigation

2. sunscreen

3. First aid

4. Knife

5. Light

6. Fire

7. Shelter

8. Extra food

9. Additional water

ten. Additional clothes