Government lockdown rules mean that we have to adhere to new social distancing restrictions which can be a little difficult for our children to understand. It's very strange times for all of us, but it's not all doom and gloom. We've got more time than ever before to spend with our children so let's use this time in the best way possible. Luckily, we can still venture out of our homes for one hour each day for exercise so, let's make that hour count! Here are a few ways to keep your children engaged on your next daily walk.
Play Pooh Sticks
This game originated from Winnie-the-Pooh in the book ‘The House At Pooh Corner’ where he accidentally dropped a pine cone into a river from a bridge end and, after seeing how it appeared at the other side of the bridge, devised the rules for Pooh Sticks. Pooh then continued to play the game with his friends, Christopher Robin, Tigger and Eeyore.
A really fun game to play on your next daily walk that children of all ages will enjoy.
You’ll Need: Collect some sticks, each player will need a stick each. Find a bridge over a river, brook or stream.
How It Works: Check which way the water is flowing so that you throw the sticks in on the right side. Stand in a line side by side with your sticks at the ready, then ‘Ready-Steady-Go! Drop your sticks into the water and quickly cross to the other side of the bridge to see which stick is the first to emerge. The stick that floats underneath the bridge fasted wins.
Spot The Rainbows
Since the government announced we would be on Coronavirus lockdown, families across the country have been drawing and painting rainbow pictures to display in their windows as a way to spread hope and positivity. On your next daily walk, see how many rainbows you can spot and each day see if you can spot more.
Wear The Rainbow
Following on with the rainbow theme, why not dress up in rainbow colours on your next family walk. Kids love an opportunity to play dress-up and you’ll be sure to bring a smile to the faces of people you see along the way. The brighter the better, if you have coloured hairspray or chalk then why not go all out and have rainbow coloured hair too.
Go On A Scavenger Walk
Going on a Scavenger Hunts is a great way to get kids to explore nature, rather than just plodding along it encourages them to be more aware of their surroundings. You can make this easier for younger children by using pictures of what they need to find and make it trickier for older kids by choosing harder to find items.
Make Your Own: you’ll need a piece of card and some pens. Make a list of what they can look out for, for example- leaves, flowers, pine cones, ladybirds, birds, beetles, feathers, spider webs, frogs. You can list as many as you want depending on how hard you want it to be!
There’s a huge amount of resources and printable scavenger hunts online, we love these:
- Nature Scavenger Hunt from Glamamom - great for little ones!
- Nature Scavenger Hunt from EDventures - perfect for older children!
- Garden Scavenger Hunt (that can be used out and about) from Kidadl
Watch The Sunrise/ Sunset
Try taking your daily walks at different times during the day.
Get up for the sunrise and see how the sun lights up the sky, and hear the birds singing their dawn chorus. Check the weather forecast the night before and set your alarms!
Watch the sunset - take a later walk outside before bedtime and watch the sky turn orange and red as the sun sets over the horizon.
Grab your binoculars, make a checklist and do some bird spotting. Suitable for children of all ages, here are some great printable checklists to get you started:
Spot The Rainbow Colours
A great activity for the whole family to join in with on your next walk- can you spot something of every colour of the rainbow? Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet- can you find them all?!
Jump In Muddy Puddles
If the weather takes a turn for the worse don't let it put you off, there's still lots of fun to be had outside. Chuck on your wellies, get your waterproofs on and let the kids jump in puddles, splash around and soak up all the fun!
Tree bark rubbing is a fun activity you can try with your children when you're out on your next walk.
You'll Need: Some white paper, wax crayons or chalk.
How To Do It: Simply find a tree, take out a piece of white paper and hold it against the bark of the tree. Using your crayon or chalk gently rub it against the bark of the tree.
Turn your next walk into an obstacle course, be creative and let the kids burn off some energy. Encourage your kids to run up and down any steps, roll down hills, stop to do star jumps, jump over small bushes-use your imagination. The kids will love using up some of their pent-up energy and it’s great for the adults too!
Isolation Walk Bingo
Before you venture outside on your next walk create some bingo cards for the family, a list of items for them to spot on your travels. This can be things like a certain coloured car, someone walking a dog, a postbox, a rainbow, a bus - use your imagination then tick them off each time to find them.
If you're short on outdoor space, not to worry! We've got plenty of suggestions for having fun indoors. Take a look at these 8 Indoor Ideas For Teens and 12 Ideas For Bringing The Outside In That Younger Kids Will Love.
An outdoor pursuits person at heart, raised in the East Midlands countryside, Sarah now lives in Surrey with her two daughters aged 3 and 9. She loves to travel and spend her days outdoors finding new and exciting places to explore with her girls. If she’s not outdoors then you’ll likely find her at home baking, crafting, gardening as well as exercising to keep fit.