Family walks are one of our only pastimes at the moment. Due to current restrictions in the UK, many families have taken up regular walking as a hobby – as let’s face it, there isn’t much else to do to get outside at the moment! However, many people are embracing this change to their lifestyles and are vowing to keep up the walks long after life returns to normal.
After all, it’s free, good exercise and a great way to spend time together. It might actually become a little more fun when it is no longer the only option to get outside!
If you are struggling to motivate the kids, or finding the walks are becoming monotonous, here’s 5 ways to make family walks more interesting.
Plan a trail
This doesn’t have to be anything complicated or pre planned, it can just be a written or mental list of things to spot on your walk. For example, challenge your family to be the first person to spot an oak tree – or five red cars, or to find the most unusual leaf. Set challenges based on the seasons and items you are likely to encounter in your area.
Give the walk a purpose
Instead of hopping in the car to the local shop or postbox, turn an everyday chore into an opportunity for a walk – distance dependent of course. Children will love to be given the task of posting the letter or finding the correct items in the local shop.
Allow your children to take photographs of any interesting sights they see using a mobile phone or small camera. For example, a minibeast hunt. The free app Pic Collage can then be used to turn the photos into a poster. It is a very simple app to use even for young children. Alternatively, the photos could be printed and stuck onto a paper poster.
Spot seasonal changes
If you are familiar with the same walking routes, take the opportunity to point out seasonal changes to trees, plants and flowers. This could lead to further research at home about tree identification, plant life cycles, and weather patterns. The Woodland Trust have a great free app to identify trees.
Set a step or distance challenge
Many fitness trackers such as Fitbit and Apple Watch have step counters and location trackers to tell you just how far you have walked in km or steps. You could set a family challenge to walk a certain number of miles or km a week, or a certain number of steps. The targets could be individual or a collective effort and they could be tracked using a simple chart tracker.
There are plenty of online challenges to sign up to, including The Step Count Challenge, or come up with your own target to suit your family!