Wandern-Familie_Kitzbüheler Alpen_Mathäus Gartner (2018)20

Playful hiking

The best outdoor games for on-the-go!

Are you familiar with the complaint from your children: "Hiking is so boring!" - "Oh no, not hiking again, please!" Well, that's normal! However, we can help - with our exciting games for on-the-go children don't even notice that they are hiking. It's all about playing, discovering, experiencing and having fun. We guarantee you, boredom while hiking is a thing of the past. Next time all you'll hear from your children is "Can we do that again please?"

Abenteuer mit Biene Line

As a member region of the Tyrolean Family Nests and the Austrian Hiking Villages, we have a large pool of knowledge to make really specific offers for children

The following games are particularly "close to nature" and are simple games that have been developed pedagogically and can exert a magical attraction to children. Of course, this also requires a little sensitivity on the part of the parents. The necessary materials can be found in nature: stones, leaves, branches, cones, moss, trees and much more.

Whether in the forest, on the meadow, by the water or on the mountains: the fun games can be played almost anywhere. Of course, the following collection of games is only a selection. You can find many more exciting "companions" on the partner website Austria's Hiking Villages.

When hiking becomes too much for you, let your thoughts flow. Look up to the sky and follow the route which the clouds above you take.

Austria's Hiking Villages

The leaf snake

Here's how it works:

1. Look for a nice place in nature.
2. Collect leaves, grass and other natural materials.
3. Make a snake out of your collection.
4. Decorate it with attention to detail.

Of course, you can also create other fantastic animals or fantasy creatures. There are no limits to your creativity.

The great thing about it is that even if you have to leave your work of art behind at some point, you won't be the only ones having fun making it. Perhaps hikers who pass by this spot after you will also be pleased to see your little greeting.

Tip: Take a photo with your mobile phone. Then you'll always have a memory of your masterpiece!

Forest boccia

This is how it works:

1. Collect different cones (not a difficult task in the forest).
2. Set up rules for yourselves: how many throws are allowed per player? Which cone wins (e.g. the one closest to the tree, etc.)?
3. Find a target (tree, rock, or place a stone somewhere yourself).
4. Throw a cone as close as possible to the target.

Forest boccia can be played almost anywhere. Other materials can be used instead of cones. How about acorns, for example, or even stones?

You can play for as long and as often as you like!

Tip: Different types of terrain offer variety and challenges. Who's the best at it?

The leaf raft

Here's how it works:

1. Look for a nice, big leaf.
2. Find a suitable place to access the water.
3. Place the leaf on the water and let it float away.
4. Follow it along the bank of the stream or even in the water.

There are enough small mountain streams where this is possible.

Here are a few tips:
Take off your shoes and go barefoot in the cold water - it's great fun! Or try a race - which leaf will reach the finish line first?

Of course, you can also play this game at mountain lakes. Here, however, the "Battle Ships" variant is more suitable (simply throw small stones at the leaves until they sink!).

Stone echo

This is how it works:

1. Tap rhythmically (stone to stone, stick to stone, ... be creative and try out a few things).
2. The others listen (concentrating)
3. ... and then tap the "echo" that they've heard.
4. Then swap tasks.

Variation: The "natural xylophone"!
Find different sized stones, wood or materials to create sounds. Try to tap out a melody on the collected items. Guess which song it is or try to repeat the melody.

Explorer's bingo

Here's how it works:

1. Draw a bingo board on the ground or lay out a playing grid with branches (2 x 3 squares).
2. Together define things to be found.
3. Go on a discovery tour.
4. The first person to find all the things and put them in the grid shouts "Bingo"!

Depending on where you play the game and with how many squares, the game takes on a different character. This guarantees that the game will always be interesting!

And lots more!

  • checkSearching for tracks

  • checkNatural paint brush

  • checkMud splashing

  • checkAcorn darts

  • checkTree puzzle

  • checkNatural mandalas

  • checkBunny hopping

  • checkCollecting sounds

  • checkThrowing through rings

  • checkThree stones win

  • checkMagical polygon

  • checkFive fleas

Why "playing" is so valuable

From the category: "Good to know"

Dr Strüber is a neuroscientist and author and is very familiar with the functions of the brain. She researches the processes in our brain and what happens to us and in our body as a result. Playing is valuable - also from her scientific perspective:

Reasons why playing is so important!

  • Studies show that children who play frequently in nature develop better skills in regulating their emotions and finding their way around the social world.

  • They are more creative, cognitively more efficient and motorically more skilled than other children.

  • Nature is highly complex, but at the same time minimally structured ie. you can project into it.

  • Nature is an ideal learning environment. In a natural environment, children have to communicate intensively in order to create a world they imagine together.

  • Children learn to endure fear, anger and frustration through play. They learn to regulate their feelings. This is the basis for a healthy psyche and for successful learning.

Listen to nature and collect the sounds around you. Paint a picture in your mind from the sounds. If the surprising intermediate sounds complete your whole picture, then you have done it!

Austria's Hiking Villages

More info: Hiking holidays with children

Visit our wide range of family mountain experiences. Every day a new experience. Every day a new mountain. Fun for the whole family every day. We have also put together easy, child-friendly hiking trails for you. With the Brixental Valley's hiking and stamp book, there is great motivation to earn the badge anyway. Of course we would also like to recommend the Kitzbüheler Alpen Summer Card - your all-inclusive entry ticket to the local mountains, including adventure worlds and mountain lifts.