Every child should be able to go out walking, whether it is a rural or urban walk, come rain or sunshine. It is a great way to bond as a family and get the kids away from the screens, but more often than not it needs parents and older family members to make the first move.
Here are some tips to keep the kids outdoors for longer and entertain the ones whose legs get tired easily and want to head back inside.
Camouflage – two ways you can achieve the full face camouflage technique, either get your hands deep in the mud and lather it on! Or you can buy camo face paint tubes.
Practice the 7 S’s of camouflage – Shape, there are no perfectly straight lines in nature! Shine, nothing natural reflects quite like a man made item or a shiny face so cover the whole face in mud! (or paint). Shadow, when hiding stick close to the ground to save your shadow giving your location away! Silhouette, dress to match your area, so don’t wear bring clothing in a woodland environment. Sound, when trying to get close to a butterfly on your walk try walking placing your foot down slowly, heal first. Spotted a rabbit? Speed is important, approach the animal slowly and smoothly. Surroundings, be aware of your surroundings making sure you are not destroying an animals home.
Map reader – Take it in turns for each child to be the map reader. Show them where you are on the route, where you want to go and things to look out for.
Mystery Bag – Give your child a small rucksack to collect things like dead leaves and sticks along the way and at lunch you can create a piece of mandala art with it.
Give me 5 – Ask your child to find 5 things that are blue or to find 5 things that are green. To name 5 types of animals or 5 types of fish, or birds.. you get the jist, the categories are endless!
ABCs – Take it in turn to create a nature alphabet. For example, animals, beach, caterpillar… or nature word association works well too.
Scavenger Hunt – Create a list using all of the senses; sight, sound, smell, touch… maybe not taste! They don’t have to collect these things just find them. The list can include, find something plastic (if its rubbish then they get another point!) a pinecone, mushroom (remember not to pick them, or flowers) or a spider web, an acorn, animal tracks… The list can go on!
Wrist Pedometers – Children can wear a pedometer to count their steps and at every 100 or 1000 they can draw their surroundings, play a game or just admire the scenery!
If you have any suggestions do write them in the comment section below! Happy Walking!