Ages 3 to 5 | Play I Spy. Make up simple rhymes and songs as you walk, and examine things (leaves, flowers, rocks) up close with a magnifying glass.
Ages 6 to 7 | Use your senses. Have your child close her eyes until she hears three different sounds. Then ask her to describe them and guess where they came from. What patterns and shapes can she find? What does a rock or the bark of a tree feel like — smooth or rough.
Ages 8 to 10 | Talk outdoor manners. Teach your kids to take nothing from the woods but memories and pictures, to leave no trash, and to observe, not disturb, the wildlife. Challenge them to come up with other ways to show respect for the earth as you hike.
Ages 11 to 13 | Take along a field guide. Have your kids use it to identify the types of birds, plants, bugs, and other wildlife you see on your hike. Show your child the basics of reading a trail map, including direction orientation. Let them help you navigate.