a family walking in the woods

How To Make Walking Fun For Kids

Going for a walk is a great way to spend quality time as a family, but persuading your kids that they should step away from the screens and join you in the fresh air can sometimes feel like an impossible challenge. Little legs tire quickly and when there’s no obvious reason to put one foot over the other, spending time in the great outdoors can have little appeal.

If you’re tired of trying to persuade your kids why it’s worth getting their shoes on or want to give them a bit of extra encouragement as you start to increase the distance of adventures, we can help. There are loads of great ways to make walking fun for kids, so read on to discover exactly how you can make your next walk the highlight of their holiday or weekend! 

Create A Nature Journal

Whereas adults can see the merit of being out in the open and enjoying some fresh air, children often think of a walk as little more than a pointless exercise. One of the easiest ways to make walking fun for kids is therefore to give the walk an extra sense of purpose. For example, you could encourage your kids to create a nature journal in their very own waterproof notebook. Get them to jot down things they see, doodle images from their surroundings and stick in leaves. This will not only keep any boredom at bay but also help your children to develop their own lifelong appreciation for nature.

Set A Scavenger Hunt 

If your kids are the competitive kind, you can up the stakes and make walking fun by setting different challenges on the way around. This could form a bit of an overall scavenger hunt with pre-planned clues, or you could spontaneously set them off to find the biggest leaf and longest twig with prizes at the end. To give them a real sense of ownership while on the hunt, give each child a Rite In The Rain mini notebook so they can record what they see and let you know at the end!

Take A Picnic

Walking is tiring work and this can be off-putting for kids so make sure to factor in plenty of stops for rest and recovery with snacks and drinks. If you’re going to be out for most of the day, you can make the walk more of an occasion by taking a whole picnic with you. Choose a nice location as the middle or endpoint of the walk and pack up some family favourite picnic food in a rucksack or cool bag to enjoy when you get there. This way, your kids will know that they have a tasty reward waiting for them and will be motivated to finish the walk in style.

Choose Your Route Wisely

The right surroundings are key to getting kids to enjoy going for a walk. Don’t overstretch them with a walk that is too long, and try and think about places you could go where there is plenty to look at and talk about. If you can keep the conversation going by pointing out unique and interesting things in your surroundings, children are much more likely to forget about the fact they are walking! You could also choose a route that takes in a park, but do bear in mind that you might find yourself struggling to keep up when the playground is finally in sight!

Introduce Map Reading

Walking with kids can also be a great way to teach some valuable but fun life skills like map reading. For really young children, you could create a very simple map of your walking route and let them take the lead, while older children might enjoy getting to grips with a real map and taking ownership of the route (with parental guidance of course!). This activity not only helps kids develop their navigational skills but also allows them to have fun and enjoy a sense of independence as they take the lead for the first time!

Bring Some Friends Along

Last but not least, if you really are struggling to get your kids to appreciate their surroundings, consider inviting their friends along. There’s no doubt about it, walking immediately becomes more fun for kids when their friends are there so try and organise a playdate with other families and give the kids a bit of freedom to walk and explore together. They’ll quickly forget that they didn’t want to be there when their bestie turns up, and you might even find them asking to go for a walk again when it’s time to go home!