For many, it would seem that a family walk is the ideal outing. It gets everyone outside, exercising, and spending time together. Unfortunately, many kids don’t see things this way. Fortunately, there are ways to make your walks engaging and educational for the younger folks in your family, thus avoiding complaints entirely.
Not only that, but most of these methods also add a layer of education, making family walks an even more worthwhile use of time! Below are 7 of our favorite ways to make walks interesting, educational, and lots of fun for the entire family.
7 Great Ways to Make Walks Engaging and Educational
Written by Chelsea Gonzales of Wonder Wherever We Wander.
Opt for a Hike
If you can, change things up by heading out for a walk in nature, rather than just around the neighborhood. Not only is this more interesting for kids, but it also encourages an appreciation of nature as well as exploration of the natural world.
While on your hike, take time to notice the plants and animals around you. Stop to look at bugs, check out the animal tracks, and do some bird watching. All of these things are great ways to keep things interesting and make your walks engaging and educational while also learning about the world around you.
Go on an Alphabet Hunt
Did you ever play the alphabet game while driving? The one where you find each letter of the alphabet in order? Why not play a similar game while walking or hiking?
Try finding something that begins with each letter of the alphabet, going in order from A to Z. You could also choose to focus on a single letter each day, finding as many things beginning with that day’s letter as possible.
Work on Counting
If your kids are still learning to count, you can enhance their skills and encourage them to be observant of their surroundings by playing counting games. Count how many stop signs you see, how many birds you pass by, or how many red leaves you can find. This is a fun twist on a scavenger hunt or “I Spy” that kids love and will certainly make your walks engaging and educational for your littles.
Play Math Games
For slightly older kids who already count like pros, there are addition and subtraction games. Give your child an addition or subtraction problem along with a physical movement (such as hopping on one foot or skipping). The child then has to solve the problem and use the result to determine how many of those movements to do.
For example, you might say “Hop on one foot 6+2 times.” The player would then hop on one foot 8 times before resuming walking.
Have a Spelling Bee
You could also work on spelling while walking. Challenge your child to spell a word and then have him or her challenge you to do the same. You could choose to spell out objects you pass or just pick words at random. Either way, your kids are sure to get a kick out of challenging you, and the spelling challenges will keep their minds occupied as you walk. If you are needing a great spelling curriculum, our favorite is All About Spelling!
This is a super unique way to make your walks engaging and educational, and different! Rhyming games are great for those kids who are learning to read, and writing poetry is a great brain game no matter who you are. These things can also be really fun, so why not make them into a fun game to play as you walk?
Try having one person begin with one line of a poem. The next player must then add a line that both fits the rhythm of the poem and rhymes. The play continues in this manner until every person has had a turn, with the last player completing the poem.
These can get pretty silly pretty quickly, so be prepared for some good belly laughs!
Put on Your Listening Ears
Walking time is also a great time to do some listening as a family. Whether you choose to listen to music, audiobooks, or podcasts, the time is sure to pass more quickly while being entertained and educated.
Do you have a favorite game to play while your family hikes or walks? We’d love to hear about it! Share your idea in the comments section below.