Genevieve Davis and her son Brody, then 6, hike through Meadowdale Beach Park in Lynnwood in 2013. (Genna Martin / Herald file)

Genevieve Davis and her son Brody, then 6, hike through Meadowdale Beach Park in Lynnwood in 2013. (Genna Martin / Herald file)

Five hiking tips to inspire kids to be explorers like Dora

With the release of “Dora and the Lost City of Gold,” it’s a great time to get your little ones exploring outdoors.

Washington Trails Association

With the release of the Dora the Explorer movie, “Dora and the Lost City of Gold,” it’s a great time to get your little ones inspired to explore outdoors. Whether you’re new to hiking, a total pro or somewhere in between, try these tips for raising bold explorers.

Bilingual hikers like Dora can check out videos in both Spanish and English at the Washington Trails Association website for tips about hiking with families. To get you started, here are six tips to help inspire young explorers.

Bring along Boots

While you may not be able to bring a talking monkey in a pair of fashionable boots with you on your adventure (like Dora’s friend Boots), a plush animal companion can be just as good. Plus, they make for great photo opportunities.

Stay away from Swiper!

‘Swiper, no swiping!’ is something you might hear Dora say a lot. Swiper is a crafty fox who does a fair amount of stealing in the show.

But don’t let any real life Swipers make off with any of your snacks. Though it might be tempting to feed the birds or go chasing after squirrels, these critters need their space. Instead, snap a photo safely and ethically.

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

Dora loves singing. Songs are actually great for memorization, and if you switch up the lyrics to one of Dora’s anthems, it could help you remember what to pack. Plus, packing together is a good way to get your kids used to the Ten Essentials. Sing while you’re packing your backpack with your little ones; you can go over each essential together, and explain why they are important.

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

I’m the map (reader)!

If there’s a place you got to go / the map’s the one you need to know!

Have your little one follow along on the map like Dora does to help build their navigational skills. Together, you can learn how topographic lines work, and have them match the trail signs with what they see on the map. There’s already the perfect song to sing to make it even more fun.

Share your story like Dora

Having your little one write a trip report is not only a good way to practice their writing skills, it can also get them excited to go out again and write more. They can look for interesting things to put in the trip report the way that Dora looks for clues.

Washington Trails Association promotes hiking as a way to inspire a people to protect Washington’s natural places. Get inspired to go hiking and learn how you can help protect trails at www.wta.org.

Get more tips and inspiration

Check out WTA’s page on Hiking with Kids.

Watch a video about Family Hiking in both Spanish and English.

Sign up for WTA’s Families Go Hiking newsletter for the latest information on where families are hiking, seasonal hike suggestions and tips to keep your kids engaged on your next family adventure.

Ten essentials

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

1. Navigation

2. Sun protection

3. First aid

4. Knife

5. Light

6. Fire

7. Shelter

8. Extra food

9. Extra water

10. Extra clothes

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