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.
1. Go fly a kite
Getting your first kite and learning to fly it is a rite of passage for many. For a greater challenge encourage your children to make their own kites, and compare to see which design or materials flies the best in different conditions. Tops of hills and beaches are prime kite flying spots, but anywhere with enough space to run and get the kite launched will do.
2. Go for a walk after dark
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?
3. Play the find the object game
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!
4. Take a picnic
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.
5. Make up a story or poem
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.
6. Play follow the leader
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.
7. Take binoculars or a magnifying glass
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.
8. Get a pedometer
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.
9. Scavenger hunt
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.
10. Make a map
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.