Whether it's a leisurely stroll at the end of the workday or a Sunday excursion, the simple act of an outdoor walk can be incredibly therapeutic. It gets our bodies moving and gets us out of our familiar environment, gently reminding us of the wonders of nature. But getting the kids out on a walk isn't always easy. Mention going for a walk and you'll often hear: Walks are boring, I don't wanna go. . . .
Instead of forcing them to trudge along, provide them with a reason for going, and you'll be amazed at the excitement that ensues. Here are 10 ideas to get children turned on to walking:
- Bring a bag and have children collect leaves for an art project, like a collage.
- Set a challenge to find 10 insects along the way.
- Offer children a pedometer to wear; make a goal of a certain number of steps.
- Bring binoculars and be patient while your children focus in on objects.
- Give kids a camera.
- If small kids get cranky, play a game of follow the leader.
- For longer walks, give children a small backpack with items like a magnifying glass, notebook and camera.
- Go for a color walk: For example, make a list of 10 colors you have to find on the walk and check them off as you go.
- Go for a sound walk: See how many sounds you can identify, such as an airplane, birds, lawn mower, water, etc.
- Have a picnic and let the kids pick the spot.