We are sure that all the adventurous and nature-loving parents have asked themselves if it would be possible to do the Way of Saint James with children. The answer is a resounding yes! Doing the Way of Saint James with the youngest of the house has a lot of benefits for everyone.
In the following lines we tell you everything you need to know to carry out this adventure. Take note, moms and dads!
An enriching experience for the little ones
Doing the Way of Saint James with children is an enriching experience for everyone. But without a doubt, those who benefit most from the adventure are the youngest.
Although there is no minimum age for the Way, if the children are 3 years old or older, better than better! They will be able to be aware of their surroundings and enjoy the experience much more. In addition, from this age onwards, children are in a phase of discovery and interaction with the environment around them. So activities that allow them to expand their contacts with the world are very positive for their personal development.
Walking together will encourage interaction and strengthen family bonds. We are all aware that on a daily basis, due to work and a multitude of obligations, we do not always spend as much time with our children as we would like. Because of this, experiences like the Camino are very positive for the family. This adventure will allow you to reconnect with the children and be part of their learning in a very active way.
Have fun learning
Experiences like the Camino teach children many things. In addition to theoretical and practical knowledge about history, heritage or nature and the environment; children learn values such as solidarity, respect, coexistence, effort, and equity. This moral education from the family environment is very important for their personal development.
Interaction with others
Another potential of el Camino is that it allows children to make friends with whom they can walk and play. If for adults, the personal relationships generated during el Camino are incredible and intense, imagine how they are for children!
It seems that we have already given you a few good reasons to walk el Camino with children! So now we are going to tell you everything you need to know about how to plan and organize the adventure.
How to plan the Way with children?
What path to choose?
When planning the Way with children, one of the things to consider is which Way to choose. When walking with children it is better to choose a Way that has a few short stages and that is more provided with services during the journey. Besides, we should consider the easier routes, where the terrain is more favourable. Good options are the French Way from Sarria in six stages or the Portuguese Way from Tui.
Remember that children also have to be prepared
Just like adults, children must also prepare themselves physically before undertaking the Way. So you know, should use comfortable shoes (not new). They also shoud go to walk with you to prepare themselves.
It is important to motivate them on a daily basis. To keep them motivated, you can give them responsibilities, such as that they are in charge of guiding you to get there without getting lost at the end of the stage. They will surely be very concentrated by following the yellow arrows!
How to prepare children on a daily basis?
Children should be comfortable at all times and feel light to walk. You can prepare them a small backpack with water and a piece of fruit for the walk, but it is important that they do not carry any weight. As you will have to carry the bulk of the weight for the completion of the stage, it is advisable to do the Way with the option of luggage transport.
If you are going to walk the Way with a small child or a baby, you should take a special mountain baby carriage. In case the child gets tired or the route becomes complicated in one stretch. It is advisable to take a baby carrier to alternate with the carriage.
Where to sleep with the kids?
When doing the Camino with children it is advisable to stay in hostels or hotels. Quiet accommodations where you can have privacy and use of facilities such as bathrooms, private.
Are you ready to venture out with yout kids? And if your family has a furry friend, here’s all you need to know to include him in the adventure!
If you have already walked the Way with your children, tell us about it!
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