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Let's Learn: Hiking

Many of us are spending a lot more time at home these days. Our Let's Learn series offers family-friendly educational activities and resources to help exercise your brain while keeping the kids entertained. Each post has a different theme related to Lake Winnipeg and offers different types of resources and activities including colouring sheets, activity pages, videos, interactive online activites and experiments. Let's Learn about hiking!

This activity is for nature lovers of all ages. 

This year, Earth Day is April 22. It is a time to speak out and push for change to protect our planet. One way we can remind ourselves of the Earth's importance is to appreciate the world around us. If you aren't able to get outside, you can take virtual hikes from the comfort of your home! Check out this Moraine Lake hike in Banff National Park, Alberta Canada from Tall Sky Walker. It even includes the real sounds of the wind, water, animals, trees and footsteps!

Looking for a Manitoba experience? Check out Virtual Manitoba to explore different maps and photo galleries of some of the beautiful nature spots in Manitoba.

Now that you've had a chance to participate in some armchair hiking, relax with some coloured pencils, crayons, markers or paints and play around with our printable colouring book! These pages feature images from around Lake Winnipeg. All they need is your creative touch!

Before you hike

Before you head outside, please make sure to check with your local government and public health recommendations. Provincial and city parks in Manitoba are open to those willing to practice physical distancing (staying two meters away from others), however the public facilities within the parks are closed. While everyone is encouraged to stay home as much as possible to flatten the curve, public health officials recognize the physical and mental health benefits of being outside when it is safe to do so.

What is hiking? Simply put, it is the activity of going for a long walk. While we often think about hiking in the woods or in the country, you can also hike in a city in what is referred to as "urban hiking." There are still a lot of things to see in the city incluiding animals, plants and clouds.

Turn your hike into a game! Download this hiking bingo sheet and see who can check off more squares. It has things you can find in the city, and in nature.

Before you head out, make sure to gear up! Here are a few things to grab before you go:

  1. Hiking bingo card. Don't forget to bring a writing tool! 
  2. Proper footwear. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes that are also weather-ready.
  3. Hydration. Fill up at least one reusable water bottle per person.
  4. Sun protection. Did you know you can get a sunburn at any time of day, even if it's cloudy? Bring the sun block just to be safe.
  5. Healthy snacks. Trail mix isn't just a funny name — it's great for walking on a trail. Dried fruits, veggie sticks, nuts and granola bars are great for giving you energy without weighing you down.
  6. A garbage receptacle. Bring something to carry your trash. It could be a bag or a reusable storage container.
  7. A first-aid kit.
  8. A navigational tool. This could be a map and compass or your mobile phone.
  9. Environment-appropriate gear. Check the weather to see if you need any of the following:
    • umbrellas and raincoats
    • sunglasses and hats
    • warm clothing or extra layers
    • flashlights

While you walk

No matter where you are walking, there's a lot to see, hear and smell. Keep your eyes peeled for different birds, plants and animals. What can you smell? Is there mud under your feet, or is the ground hard? Pay attention to everything our Earth has to offer.

Back at home

Now that you're back at home, try using our colouring pages once more and see if you can use colours you found on your walk. Maybe you want the pages to look realistic or maybe you want to create your own colourful world.

Try to draw from memory some of the birds, plants and animals you saw on your trip. Can other people in your household guess what you drew?

External resources

Did you see any birds? Check out this easy-to-use guide on Manitoba birds from WhatBird.com

Did you hear any bird sounds? You can compare what you heard to several different recorded tracks at Bird-sounds.net

Can you name all the trees you saw? This helpful field guide to native trees from the Manitoba government will help you pick out the white poplar trees from the black ash trees.

Check out these other posts in our Let's Learn series:

Let's Learn: Clouds

Let's Learn: Water Pollution

Let's Learn: Lake Winnipeg Watershed

Let's Learn: Road Salt


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