Trying to Do Long Walk with 5 Year Old

Updated on September 22, 2010
J.M. asks from Reno, NV
20 answers

We have just started to exercise and have been walking a trail that is 1.4 miles and mostly uphill, my son can do it but he gets tired and complains and he is too big for the stroller (he is 38 lbs.) and it is dirt so it is hard to push it, I was thinking of getting a wagon, would that be a good thing to use? Any other ideas? Thanks.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

I don't think he could his bike, alot of it is uphill and dirt. Does anyone know of a good, decent priced wagon? All the ones I looked at are like $80.

Featured Answers



answers from Erie on

That sounds like a good compromise, that way he can hop in or out pretty easy. I would get a light weight plastic one as opposed to a metal one.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I wonder if you could go "into training" for that trail. Find another one and you can work toward a goal together.
Have fun!

More Answers



answers from Chicago on

You want something with big wheels or could he ride his bike while you walk? J. Olsen



answers from Harrisburg on

If you're not exhausted, give him a piggy back ride most of the way to rest his legs and let him continue the walk again.



answers from Sacramento on

I wouldn't try using a wagon or anything else for him to ride in. Much better to start out a bit slower, even though it isn't quite the exercise you want for yourself. Try walking slower, taking short breaks every once in a while, take and easier route, and make a game of it for your son. We take fairly long walks with several children ages 2 - 6, and though not as strenuous a trail as you're describing, they tend to get tired too. Sometime we'll point out a landmark about 100 feet ahead of us and challenge them to race to that point and wait for us. Or we have them looking for certain thngs along the way to keep their minds occupied and off of how tired they may be from walking. Have him collect leaves, rocks or other items that may interest him. Take along some sort of collection bag. Even if you end up carrying the bag, it won't be as heavy a load for you as pulling a wagon would be. Distraction is the name of the game. Keep his mind occupied and he won't think as much about being tired. At his age, 1.4 miles isn't really too long a walk, even uphill and on a dirt trail. I know because I was raised in an area where that was the situation just for getting around on a daily basis, and remember getting all over the place when I was his age.



answers from Boston on

pulling a wagon isn't that fun. I suggest you look for a maclaren stroller on craigslist. They have a weight limit of 55lbs and most other umbrellas go to 40lbs I crammed my 8 (9 in dec) into it this summer when I had to take him to the ER he was so tired I couldn't get him to stay up and he is almost 5 ft tall and weighs 65lbs. I was not going to attempt to carry him from the parking garage to the ER. I have used this stroller on dirt, rocky pathes w/o a problem.



answers from Redding on

Ear muffs. If he can do it. It is best to keep him walking. Ignore the whining and talk with him or play games to keep him going. Rewards may also work. I walk with my son at the park and tell him if he is too tired to walk he is too tired to play at the play ground when we get done. I would think a wagon would be very hard on your back since you're body is kind of out of position to pull it up hill through the dirt.



answers from San Francisco on

Start out small , then go further as time goes on. And shop garage sales, craigslist, etc. for a wagon. You can even post "wanted" on CL or freecycle.


answers from Columbus on

I walk with my daughter in a bike trailer. It's roomier than a regular stroller and has large wheels, that will manage rougher terrain. When my older kids were young, I would rollerblade with them in the trailer. I had two kids, which was about 60 lbs. and it was a great workout!! I now walk/run/rollerblade with just my toddler, which is about 25 lbs. I throw some books, toys, snacks, drinks, etc. in the trailer and she doesn't mind a bit how long we are gone. Just a thought.



answers from Austin on

Maybe a bike? you could rig up some kind of handle to attach to it to help him during the uphill parts, and for when he gets too tired.



answers from San Francisco on

I used to take my daughters hiking at this age. Generally, they will complain the first 10 minutes, but before you know it they will be ahead of you on the hike. Especially if there are exciting sites to see. If he gets used to a stroller/wagon/bike being provided then, of course, he will want to use it and you will be worn out from lugging it.



answers from Chico on

Just keep making him do it, he'll get used to it and will be running it before you know it.


answers from Modesto on

I'd suggest an easier trail until he's ready for the whole uphill thing.



answers from San Francisco on

My friend and I have recently started hiking with our kids too. She has 4 kids aged 2 to 10, and I have 3 aged 9,9, and 11. Funny enough my 11 year old is the least enthusiastic of them all. The 2 year old is in a jogging stroller but the rest of us walk.

I would try some easier paths with him for awhile to build up his stamina. It's hard for any of us to go from "0 to 50" all at once. It won't take long until he is ready for more.

Try to play little fun games along the way or really use that time to talk about things he enjoys. My son loooooves to talk so he'd love to walk alone with me so he could have my full attention. How about a treasure hunt? Make a list to find sticks in the shape of a "t", find a leaf in full form, a red leaf, a dead bug, find a piece of man made material (trash).. Maybe you could discover special points along the way where you take rests and maybe have a little snack at one. It's always easier to think of such a long venture in little steps (from here to the large rock he can climb etc).

The other thing that works for all the kids but my 11 year old, is at the end of the walk, when there is a trip to Yogurt Time (once a week or once a month). They all look forward to this and sign up for the walk if they know that is on offer at the end. I've just discovered this place and it seems you can get somewhat healthy yogurts and toppings if you choose to. It's lots of fun.

Good luck and congratulations on doing one of the simple things in life that can really be enjoyable, healthy, good family time, and doesn't cost a thing!



answers from Honolulu on

Pushing a stroller or pulling a wagon... will both be, tiring... it is carrying the same weight...
pulling a wagon from behind... might tweak a person's back. IF you have back problems. For example.

Can you do the walk when someone else is home to watch him?

My daughter has great stamina and for long distances... even up hill.
My son on the other hand does not. He is best with sprints and short distances. He, could not do that walk, uphill with you either.
My daughter could.
But still... with a young child, you need to stop and let them rest and keep hydrated and drink water.
They can over-heat as well.

all the best,



answers from Modesto on

Try getting one of those push cars. He will love it, and it's much better for older kids.



answers from Bakersfield on

Hi Momma- What about giving him an incentive, and only having him do the walk a couple times a week? He is still pretty small and even though he can make it, it probably wipes him out. My suggestion is to ask him to do this walk with you once or twice a week and get him a fun camel pack for water or something. He may need little breaks during the walk, too.
On the other days, if you really need your sweat time ( I know I do), ask a neighbor or friend if they can watch him for 30 minutes while you get in a good workout.
A final option, depending on your strength, is to carry him on your back or shoulders. Almost 40lbs is a pretty hefty weight, but look at it this way- your rear and your legs and your abs will be awesome!
I hope this helps! Good luck mama!
-E. M



answers from San Francisco on

I would recommend against a wagon. I have pulled a wagon on long walks and it is more difficult than you would think. Personally, I would make my son walk. We have done 5k and longer walks and my 6year old son knows that he can do it. We make it a game, looking for certain objects or just a chance to catch up. I know it sounds corny but kids used to walk for miles and never think anything of it and many kids in other countries still walk miles. The more he does it the easier it will be and it will help establish healthy views on exercise.



answers from San Francisco on

Hi there-

I would guess that if a stroller is too hard to push in the dirt, the wagon will be too. Moreover, an ATW with air filled tires will set you back $150. Over rocky ground, wagons are not that comfortable for passengers, either, so you might be quite disappointed for the investment.

On long hikes I often carry my 4yo piggy back for stages, but we go cross country (no paths). Since you said you are on a path, why not try a bike? We attach a bungee to the handle bar as a pull handle to help out on hills (but we also have training wheels for stability).

Great job getting out in nature and exercising!!



answers from St. Louis on

I have also just started walking too. I walk to my daughters school to pick her up a couple days out of the week. She also hates walking but I have her try to walk half the way and then I let her sit in the stroller. 38 lbs is not too big to sit in a stroller, a lot of strollers are made for up to 50 lbs. Maybe look into some of the jogging strollers too.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions