May is National Walking Month and packed with extra days off (including May Half Term), so what better time to dust off the walking boots, pack a picnic and make the most of the great outdoors? Spending time with the kids in the open air not only creates great memories, but will help keep the whole family fit and healthy too.
If you think getting the kids off the couch and into the countryside is easier said than done, check out these fun, free outdoor activities for families. And if you feel inspired to enjoy an even bigger outdoor adventure, discover Explore & Adventure family holidays in Europe!
1. Play follow the leader
[responsive-image id=’2577′ align=’center’ caption=’Catch me if you can!’]
Rather than kids following you, let them be the team leaders. Mark your destination on a map and ask them to navigate; they’ll love telling the grown-ups what to do and they won’t even realise they’re exercising! Alternatively, you can start as the leader and line everyone up behind you. Everyone has to copy exactly what you do whether it’s hopping, skipping or pretending to be an animal. Take turns being the leader to keep it entertaining!
2. Set a scavenger hunt
Before you set off from home, make a list of things you might find along the way. Get the children involved in making the list by predicting what things they think they might be able to find! You could include the following: a feather, an acorn, a smooth stone, a red leaf, a cone. Take a bag with you so when you get back from your walk they can show everyone their treasures.
3. I spy
A timeless classic, I spy is a fantastic guessing game for long walks. One person chooses an object that is visible to all players, and says ‘I spy with my little eye, something beginning with…’ stating the first letter of the object that they have spotted. Other players have to guess the chosen object, and the first person to guess correctly gets to start the next round.
4. Make something
Try making daisy rings, bracelets and crowns for the whole family or why not challenge each other to see who can make the longest daisy chain? Or how about making a grass whistle instead and see who can make the loudest noise?
5. And the winner is…
Most kids like to win at games so why not turn your walk into a little competition? Spot landmarks or points of interest on your journey and play ‘first to the sign/ tree/ gate’ wins. Running back and forth will soon get the heart rate going too!
6. Cloud shapes
When it’s time to get the picnic out or if the kids start to get tired, get everyone to lie down and look up at the clouds. You can then take turns talking about what shapes you see.
These free outdoor activities for families are just the start – the possibilities are endless, especially thanks to kids’ active imaginations. We’d love to hear how you keep the kids entertained on a walk so why not share your tips on Facebook?
(Header photograph courtesy of Kate Lucie)