Getting kids outdoors is one of our top priorities and sometimes like some families we struggle to find the right balance. Letting our boys have some outside fun and learning at the same time is for us perfect. We are an outdoor type of family; my husband loves cycling… me not so much (unless it’s an E-Bike!) Personally, I love walking/hiking which the boys enjoy too.
One of the major benefits of being outside is keeping the whole family fit and healthy. Getting the boys involved in nature and learning about the great outdoors is fun as long as you find things to do with kids outdoors.
As we love getting out walking with our children, I thought I would write about how to make walking fun for kids and get them involved in walking/hiking.
Top Tips For Getting Your Kids Outside and Walking
To start off getting your children outside, you are best introducing your little ones (or older ones) to a small walk if they are not used to getting outdoors. Finding a family friendly walk near to you would be best. You don’t want to start them with an 8-mile hike for example. I’m sure this would put them off getting outside for good. Try give them a great incentive to get to the end of the walk. For example, you could tell them they can have a treat or a play on the swings etc.
Go at their pace…
Your walk may take longer but if you keep walking at your pace your children’s legs will tire long before yours. Take your time and go at their pace. If they want to stop for a break then find somewhere suitable for you all to sit and rest for a bit (look out for animals or even cloud shapes so they don’t moan they are bored!). Make sure you have a good supply of snacks and drinks to keep you all going otherwise you will end up with them moaning they are tired and hungry.
Look for Wildlife…
If you can find fun things to do outside for kids and hold their interest, you will find they enjoy being outside fun. Most children love animals, so why not let them look out for different signs of animals nearby. Look for footprints and they will more than likely love the idea of trying to find the most animals (try not to disturb any animals though you are only looking). Though if wildlife isn’t of interest to your children you could always try looking for elves and fairies. This is a popular option for our boys. We found a walk near to us where they could see fairy houses in the trees called Fairy Knowe and Doon Hill.
Make a collection…
Another option for fun outside activities if do start a collection. If your children love picking up things while they are out and about then why not let them choose something to start a collection with. For example, they could collect leaves and put them in a scrap book showing the adventures they had on their walk. If you didn’t want them to bring items home, then you could make up a worksheet for things for then to find. It’s a great outdoor activity for kids to have fun and learn on.
Outdoor Tips For Getting Your Kids Outside
Do The Prep
If your anything like us, it takes ages for everyone to get out the house in the morning. The best thing to do is prep as much the night before. Get everyone’s outdoor gear ready in a bag including hiking boots and waterproofs. A change of clothes can also come in handy. If you are planning to have a picnic, prep as much as you can so that in the morning you can head off out on your outdoor adventures.
Check Your Kids Outdoor Gear
Making sure your kids outdoor clothes and of course your own outdoor clothes are necessary. As the saying goes, there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. So make sure you invest in decent quality clothes. I’m not saying buy expensive outdoor gear, as kids grow, and you would have to replace stuff a lot. Making sure your kids have hiking boots for support and different layers will make the world of difference when outside with your kids.
Do you have any tips for getting your children involved in walking/hiking?
First Published – Feb 2016