10 Tips for Getting The Most Out of Walking with Children

Walking is a great way to explore, exercise and have fun in the fresh air. These tips will help you get the most out of walks with children.

  1. Let the children help plan the route. This way they will feel more a part of the walk and will get to see landmarks and places that are of interest to them, rather than to just the adults!
  2. Let the children take a friend if possible, sharing new sights, sounds  and experiences with a peer makes them more enjoyable and increases the chances of learning something as children do tend to discuss and question more when there are others around.
  3. Draw a map of the walk and encourage the children to follow it. Giving them an independent task like this is another way of making walking something special. For younger children maps could have drawings on them, for older children, distances or even clues!
  4. For longer walks take a drink and a snack and stop off somewhere suitable for a break. This adds another layer of fun to the walk and gives anyone who is tired a chance to rest before setting off again.
  5. Stop off somewhere for an activity if you can, a park for play, or a grassy area to play football or fly a kite. These things all add to the fun!
  6. Collect leaves, twigs and another seasonal goodies to use for art-work later. For older children the task of identifying different leaves (etc) can be just as fun.
  7. I-Spy books are great for walking out and about, for finding different animals, plants, trees, insects or even buildings and things seen more commonly in build up areas. Ticking these off can be great fun. If you don’t have an I-Spy book, make up a list instead.
  8. Let your child be responsible for their own things and carry a backpack. This adds to the sense of adventure and saves the adults carrying excess baggage!
  9. Sing!! If your children are at an age where they can still be seen with you without cringing, the chances are they won’t yet get embarrassed by having a good sing-song as you walk along. Silly songs are always favourites!
  10. Document your walks. If possible take a camera. Let the children take pictures of the things they find most interesting. Printed off or developed these make great keepsakes.

Nicki Cawood, Mum, Freelance writer and blogger at Curly&Candid

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