We enjoy walking as a family, getting outdoors in the fresh air and seeing what nature has to show us. We are an ‘outdoor’ family and also have a dog so are out walking everyday. Our eldest walks good distances and our youngest seems to be a keen walker too, now preferring to walk versus going in the buggy. I share a lot of family friendly walks through the Berkshire Mummies Blog including these buggy friendly walks and I am often asked by readers how to motivate children to walk which has inspired this blog post. So here are 25+ ideas to help motivate children during a walk – my top tip is to make it into an adventure!
We are not perfect though, we have days where we don’t feel motivated to walk and sometimes we just don’t fancy it, especially if it is cold and wet or we are busy with other activities. However, we aim to make our walks as fun as possible and I personally don’t dislike walking in the rain if I am not prepared! Below I have written 25+ ways to help inspire you inspire your child/children during a walk.
Ideas to help motivate children during a walk
Explain the walk and the end goal at the start. e.g. during the walk we will walk around the lake and at the end of the walk let’s have a picnic.
Take snacks and drinks suitable for the length of the walk. Why not pack a ruck sack for your ‘adventure’.
Download a Scavenger Hunt or draw one to complete during the walk. Make sure you take a pen or pencil!
Collecting leaves / sticks for making a picture back at home.
Scooter / bike if you know the walk is flat and they are allowed.
Stopping for a picnic (even autumn / winter picnics can also be fun).
Go on the world’s largest treasure hunt and have a go at Geocaching.
Map reading – lots of walks have maps in the car parks of the walks or dotted around a walk. You can also sometimes access maps of apps or download them off websites. They are great to introduce your child/children to map reading.
Take a toy on an adventure – we often take toy dinosaurs who love to go for an explore!
Wear the right clothes – dress appropriately, lots of layers in the colder months, sun hats, suncream and cool clothing in on warm summer days.
Play Games – I spy / Sing Songs / Tell Stories / Count things, Spot things – eg. birds, bugs, butterflies, farm animals, horses, people, cars, boats, planes, tractors, buses and buildings.
Give your child/children a camera to capture their walk from their point of view.
Jump in Muddy Puddles.
Walk regularly making walking part of your lifestyle.
Put your technology away and be present – observe nature and your surroundings – look up at the clouds, watch aeroplanes in the sky, stand under a tree, listen and watch the birds.
Take gadgets on your walk. Examples include a pedometer, compass, binoculars and magnifying glass.
Use guide books to identify tree types, bird species, mini-beasts etc.
Play pooh sticks.
Have questions of the day to answer during your walk – explore the topic and learn / teach something new.
Let your child / children pick which direction to go in.
Build or find a den on your walk.
Look out for animal tracks.
Give your child a challenge to complete during the walk. e.g. Can you spot 5 different varieties of trees, make leaf and bark rubbings during your walk, turn your walk into an obstacle course.
Enjoy the beauty of the seasons – in the Spring witness the Spring Flowers emerging – snowdrops, daffodils and bluebells. During Summer watch out for caterpillars and enjoy the butterflies fluttering around. At Autumn time jump in the Autumn leaves and enjoy the changing colour of the leaves. In Winter jump in muddy puddles, walk on snowy days and observe the trees without leaves.
If you have found this blog post useful, why not take a read of 15 things to do outside this Autumn.
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