DofE and Scouting: Why should you get outdoors?
Scouting groups and Duke of Edinburgh Award schemes are great ways to get young people outdoors, but why join? 15 year old Drew shares his story.
Walking is the best way to get families outside. It’s healthy, it’s free, and with a bit of imagination, it is also fun. Here are our 10 ways to turn a family walk into an adventure.
Many families hunt for little treasures while out on a walk. Why not decorate a pebble and leave it for someone else to find? It’s a fabulous way to make someone's day.
You might even find you inspire others in your community to do the same and find one yourself one day.
Even routes you know really well will seem like an adventure in the dark. When night falls, there is a reduction in man-made noise, so it's an excellent opportunity to hear the outdoors.
Walking at night gives you a chance for star-gazing, storytelling and spotting some of our precious nocturnal wildlife. Why not download a star-gazing app to help you identify our constellations?
A modern spin on the traditional scavenger hunt. One person runs ahead and takes a close-up picture of an object on your route. The rest of the team then has to try and find the object when they reach the area.
Kids absolutely love this game – expect lots of giggles while you try and work out what they have photographed!
Snacks or a picnic turns a walk into an outing, which immediately sounds more fun.
Giving yourself and your family time to stop and take in your surroundings will not only make you appreciate being outside more, but it’ll also help refuel you for the walk back home.
Take turns to add a line to a story or poem using things you pass on your walk for inspiration. Imagine who lives in a house, or where people who drive past are going. Kids love to use their imagination, and it’s a great way to keep them entertained on a walk.
Walk in a line with the leader up front. Everything the leader does the rest of the team copies. This is a great way to get the whole family hoping, jumping and generally having fun. Change leader regularly so everyone gets a go.
Both of these items open up a whole new world which is easily missed with the naked eye. Use binoculars to get a close up look at birds and other wildlife or to check out where you are walking to in the far distance. A magnifying glass is excellent for observing mini-beasts or taking a closer look at bark, leaves and flowers.
Anyone who has tried a pedometer will know it’s a great way to encourage walking. Set a family target and then see if you can beat it each time you go out. Don’t forget to times your steps by the number of people walking to get a grand total.
Whether you download a ready-made one that covers your town or nature setting or make up your own, scavenger hunts are a great distraction on a walk. You could look for objects of a specific colour or count how many different flowers you see. There are endless variations to this game.
Mapping your walk on a piece of paper is a great way to take in your surroundings. Mark down any notable features and landmarks and then use it to find your way back home or to the car.
You will find making maps in different environments such as in a town, park or woodland will give you very different results.
Take a look here for loads of other family adventure inspiration.
Sarah is a nature lover, crafter and hedgerow liqueur enthusiast!
It was this passion that led her to create the Craft Invaders blog with her family, where she shares family orientated craft tutorials (which have a strong focus on nature-based and recycled craft), recipes, foraging, wildlife, and their visits to UK wildlife and historic sites.