I absolutely love getting out to explore somewhere new or visiting and old favourite with my kids. We have a great time on family walks from woodlands to country parks or even just local trails. Let’s be completely honest though, not every walk is a dream. Sometimes it can feel like you’re punishing your kids by dragging them along. With that in mind, I’ve got a few handy tips for fun things for kids to do on a walk.
Best Outdoor Activities with Kids
This is a really easy one to do and keeps kids happily run around exploring. Get prepared in advance and brainstorm your own list with your children which you can write out or draw pictures of for smaller ones.
There are lots of free printable scavenger hunt sheets online too.
Outdoor Children’s Photo Challenge
Dig out an old digital camera, buy a cheap second hand one or hand over your phone if you dare! Getting creative and taking photos is a great way to slow down and really take in the world around you. It doesn’t just have to be out on a nature walk, a walk around your local town can be just as fascinating. Children have such a different perspective on what they see and what’s important to them. You can add some challenges in for different days. Perhaps one day they can take photos of anything red and another day focus on shapes.
Geocaching has grown in a popularity as a low cost family outdoor activity. Hunting down treasure box is a lot of fun. Some geocaching you can do from an app on your phone or you can buy GPS devices. Check out the National Trust, many of their properties have devices you can borrow and try for free.
Play I Spy
What you can spot as you take a walk, I spy is an ideal games for all ages (younger kids can choose a colour rather than a letter) and encourages everyone too look around and take in their surroundings.
All you need is a piece of paper and a crayon and you can make rubbings. Make bark rubbings of different trees and compare them to each other. You could also collect interesting leaves to take home and make rubbings of later.
A family walk is the perfect time to add in a bug hunt and even better if you have a magnifying glass. Lift up a big stone or roll over a fallen branch and see what scuttles away. Here’s out to make your own children’s bug hunt kit.
Find a Walking Trail to Follow
My kids love to have a trail to follow. Lots of these can pop up as themed events during the school holidays and others are more long lasting. There’s something about following markers or a map that keeps everyone going on the adventures.
Forestry England have lots of great Gruffalo Trails which are interactive if you download the app in advance and a giant Gruffalo sculpture at the end. We love the Gruffalo Trail at Wendover Woods which also has a great children’s play area. However, during lockdown, please follow government advice and not travel far from home.
Any river or stream that we cross on a walk usually involves a game of pooh sticks. Everyone chooses their own stick and then releases them into the river from the top of the bridge at the same time. Turn around quickly and see who’s stick is the first to pass under the bridge.
The changing seasons can add variety to any walk. Finding a walk that celebrates new blooms is great and makes for some fab photo opportunities. Towards the end of January, snowdrops start to appear, followed by bright and colourful daffodils that promise warmer days and longer evenings to come. Bluebells from mid April are a sign of ancient woodlands and then for full on razzmatazz keep an eye out for sunflower fields.
It’s not just about about the flowers, autumn is a fantastic time for a walk with children. Kick up the fallen leaves, heap them up and jump in them and keep an eye out for conkers too.
Photo Credit: Alexandra Tandy Photography
- Find Snowdrop Walks in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Cheshire.
- Find Bluebell Woodland Walks in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Surrey
- One of the best sunflower fields to visit in the North West is the Dunham Massey sunflower field.
Prepare for a Family Trip Outdoors
All the games in the world are great, but if you have wet, cold and hungry kids it’s hard to turn things around. Being prepared just like the scouts makes all the difference. Here’s some ideas for summer or winter walks with kids with top tips for children’s clothing, snacks and other handy ideas. How to prepare for a family walk.