One mile from our home is a park with extensive, unmarked, rarely-traveled wooded trails that we love to explore. Typically, we go on the main path, then cut off on one or two more trails. Any more divergence off the main trail and I am convinced we would be lost. With the three year old in tow, "lost" is not a feeling I want to experience!
One day a few weeks ago, I saw a card from the game/book The Dangerous Book For Boys. It had a drawing of an arrow made out of 3 sticks, and it struck me... that is our ticket to hiking freedom... stick arrows. Now when we take a turn off a path we mark the path we are leaving with a stick arrow so we can find it on our way back. (Hansel and Gretel's fate will not be our own.)
The children can lead the hike wherever they chose. Unlimited adventure is around every bend. The return trip has turned into a game for little Shane... "Who can spot the arrow first & which way do we go?"
Sometimes they are big and easy to spot on a main trail.
Some tell us which way to turn at a Y.
Others are small and lead to a barely noticeable trail.
I have a feeling the boys will hear, "Get your hiking shoes on!" a lot this autumn...
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