How one local mom started a family adventure group that explores Las Vegas while building community.
It all started last June. I invited some local parents and children to get out of the house and go for what I called “a Tiny Hike” in Nevada Trails Park. Twelve little hikers showed up with their parents. “We might be onto something special,” I thought. But honestly, I had no idea what was about to happen. Just a few months later Tiny Hikes + Adventures has grown to more than 1,250 participants. You read that right.
The whole idea was to combine schools of thought from Forest Kindergarten, Montessori, Music and Movement for kids under 5 years old. After that first hike, we found more adventures to try. Visiting farm animals. Doing crafts. Exploring mazes. Visiting dolphins. All of our outings are free or at a low cost, so anyone can join. We visit playgrounds, but our focus is on nontraditional adventures that parents may not have thought of, that are enriching to toddlers visually and kinesthetically.
Since June, we’ve had over 160 events and it’s a lot of work to organize and plan each meetup. Luckily I have the help of eight moms who participate in moderating the Facebook group, members discourse and of course at each event as well. I’m most proud of our Tiny Costume Parade and Halloween party at Town Square. We had over 50 toddlers show up and it was the cutest thing. One of our really popular meetups is the Graffiti Walk downtown where children and parents can see beautiful murals by Las Vegas artists!
Tiny Hikes and Adventures group has become that tight knit community and “family” a lot of us have been searching for and need to navigate motherhood. The kids benefit by having friends and socializing with mixed age cohorts which leads to natural learning and teaching moments. Children learn verbal, social cues and diversity, as nearly 70% of our families are multilingual or multiracial. So, what started as a free hike has led to priceless takeaways I never could have imagined.
You can find our group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/tinyhikes/
I’m Yvonne Kai! My family moved from New York City to Las Vegas in the fall of 2015. I started this playgroup for my son Niko (almost 2) to have a diverse community of friends to grow up with. My professional background prior to being SAHM includes event planner, social media consultant for international beauty brands and running a blog.