Walks with kids can be a great way to get the entire family out of the house and into nature. Maybe you already enjoy walking and want to get your children involved. They can have a lot of fun exploring different environments and learning more about the world around them.
What happens, however, when they get bored, tired, hungry, thirsty, or just over the walk?
Luckily there are many ways you can enjoy getting out of the house with your kiddos!
15 Ways to Make Walks with Kids More Fun
Here are 15 ways you can make your next walk with kids more enjoyable:
Choose your path wisely
Avoid walking where there will be lots of difficult terrain. Hills and rocky areas can tire your children out faster. They can be even be dangerous for young kids and toddlers who haven’t been walking very long. Walks with your kids should be done in a location where the path is smooth and free from lots of rocks, stumps, and other debris.
Consider the length of your walks with kids
Walking for 30 minutes may seem like a long time, but that’s actually just the right length of time to keep kids engaged while not tiring them out.
When they are just starting out, you may want to walk close to home or your vehicle, should they want to stop too soon. As they get more used to walking, you can go further out to explore new locations.
Break up your walk with kids by stopping frequently
You can break longer walks into shorter segments and stop at least every 20-30 minutes so they have enough breaks. As mentioned above, children may not be able to walk 1-2 hours, especially in rougher terrains.
With breaks, your kids can have time to recuperate before moving on. This also allows time to stop and take in the nature around them.
Take plenty of water
Make sure you have enough water to keep everyone hydrated. Hydration packs are a great way to do this without adding too much bulk to anyone. If you are carrying bottled water, make sure you have enough. A good rule of thumb is one bottle for every child and adult, plus a couple extra just in case.
Add in snacks
Snacks like granola bars, carrots and crackers add a little something extra to the walk. The food provides energy for your family while also giving you an opportunity to stop and chat with children along the way. This can be especially helpful if they are not used to walking long distances regularly.
Do a nature scavenger hunt
Nature scavenger hunts are a great way to introduce kids and adults alike to the nature around them. A good place to start is by looking for leaves in fall colors, so you can see what they have been learning about at school.
Our free Birdwatching Journal for kids can make your walks WAY more entertaining!
Bring some games on your walks with kids
Games like frisbees or bubbles provide entertainment on your walks while everyone gets the exercise they need. A couple of small cars or trucks can be enough for your kids to stay happy on your walks, since they can play in the leaves or dirt with these toys during breaks.
Find a new trail
Kids love to explore and see new things. Exploring different walking trails in your area can be an exciting adventure for kids while also providing them with a healthy dose of exercise. If you walk often, try to find 3-4 favorite paths for your family, so you can mix it up every time you head outside.
Bring a camera on your walks with kids
A walk with children is not complete without the photos to remember it all by! Bring along some disposable cameras or ask an adult if you can use their phone’s camera for pictures to capture this special time in your child’s life. Later, your kids can put together a nature scrapbook complete with these photos plus little bits of the outdoors they may pick up along the way.
Start a nature journal
Encourage your kids to get creative and draw, write or color in a small journal while you’re on walks with them. This might be the beginning of their own nature diary! This book will be so much fun to look back on after a few months of walks with kids!
Learn about different insects
Kids love learning new things so bring along an insect encyclopedia for your next walk. You can take turns reading aloud interesting facts about specific bugs you find on your journeys.
Grab our free Insect Observation Journal to add to your “buggy” family fun!
Take a walk at night
This activity might involve more preparation and planning for safety reasons but it’s worth it! One of the best ways to get kids excited about going on walks is by doing things they enjoy. Kids love getting dirty, so pack some old clothes that you don’t mind getting messy. You can even bring along glow sticks or flashlights to make the experience a bit less scary.
Wear proper walking shoes
Kids will quickly become cranky if they do not have proper shoes for the trek. Make sure they have shoes that support their feet, are lightweight, and provide a solid barrier against water. If you typically walk in rougher terrains, hiking shoes for kids may be a better investment.
Collect nature souvenirs for art
Kids love collecting natural objects and turning them into art projects. Bring some tools for the kids to collect leaves, acorns, rocks, bark – anything! They can use their collections as paintbrushes or in a collage of nature. These collectibles also make great decor for a nature scrapbook.
Bring a pet on walks with kids
If you have the privilege of having your furry friend tag along on walks, they will help keep kids entertained and happy. Dogs are especially great for this! Put on his collar and leash and hand it over to your kids to be in charge of the active pooch.
As you can see, making family walks more enjoyable for everyone isn’t a difficult task. You may have to do some planning before hand but walking is a great exercise that everyone can take part in!