Spring is in the air! Now that the snow and ice is off the road, the kids love taking family walks. We’ve walked down to the creek and back each day (about 2/5 of a mile round-trip).
The fresh air feels amazing! And it’s great to be outside after a long winter. The kids have tons of energy to burn off!
But, sometimes walks can get a bit boring. Especially if you’re doing the same walk each day since the rest of the road is still a bit icy. Or involves a hill too steep for everyone.
So here are some ways we’ve boosted the fun level of our family walks. They’re super simple, and as a bonus, many are educational as well! Talk about learning on the go! 😀
We love singing as we walk. The kids take turns picking songs. Silly songs are a big hit!
2. Change Up the Speed
Alternate walking and jogging. If you’re feeling especially energetic, throw in some sprints. See if everyone can jog to the next power pole, or sprint to the driveway.
Using visual clues instead of a stopwatch has been way more engaging for my kids!
3. Check for Signs of Spring
Every where we look, we can see subtle signs of spring coming. I ask the kids what they notice and here are some clues they’ve found:
- Water running down the side of the road from snow melting
- Birds chirping
- The creek flooding
- Snow levels shrinking
- Buds on the trees
- The grass greening
- The warm feeling in the air
- A flower coming up
4. Play Follow the Leader
This is a fun way to mix up your movement. Pick one person to be the leader first. They can skip, hop, twirl, or do another movement of their choice. Everyone else follows.
Change up the leader every so often. We use visual markers for this one too so there’s no arguing. (You can be the leader until we reach that flower bed, then it’s someone else’s turn.
5. Find the ABCs
Look up and down and all around and see if you can find things starting with each letter of the alphabet. You might notice:
- An airplane flying overhead
- A bubble from someone’s gum
- A cloud
- Deer running through the field
And lots more!
If you can’t find a letter, agree to skip it after a minute of looking. That way the game doesn’t slow down.
6. Rhyme Time
Let one person go first and say a word aloud. Everyone else says a word that rhymes. Then, let another person say the beginning word.
Bonus points for starting with a word of something you see!
7. I Spy!
I spy with my little eye, something green!
You’ve probably played this game before, and it’s so much fun to play while walking. Take turns and use your power of observation.
8. Question & Answer
One person asks a question, and everyone else answers. This is a great way to get to know each other a little better. Here are some fun questions:
- Which RescueBot is your favorite? (Can be used with any favorite cartoon!)
- If you could go anywhere for a week, where would you go?
- What season is your favorite?
- What’s your favorite breakfast food?
- What are your favorite ice cream toppings?
- If you could meet any book character, who would it be?
- If you could go inside any book as a character, which book would you pick?
Just ask away–this game is perfect if you’re all walking at about the same speed.
9. Magnifying Glasses
If you aren’t in a hurry on your walk, bring along a couple of magnifying glasses. Kids learn so much looking at the world up close. Encourage them to check out plants, bugs, rocks, and anything else they see.
10. Copy Cat
Listen carefully, and pick a sound to copy. Then have everyone else guess what you sound like. This works with birds, vehicles, construction noise, and anything else that makes noise!
11. Turn Around
If you’re in a safe place where you don’t have to worry about traffic, turn around and walk backwards. It stretches a completely different set of muscles and is lots of fun!
Just remind your kids to look over their shoulders so they can make sure they aren’t going to run into anything.
12. Animal Walk
This is a fun one for younger kids. Call out an animal and have everyone walk like that animal. Here are some ideas:
Everyone grabs hands and then walk in a single-file line. The person in front is the leader and tries to make sure everyone avoids obstacles. Don’t break the chain!
14. Shape Spy
Shapes are everywhere. Challenge your kids to find as many as possible. You may notice a circle man-hole cover, a triangle-shaped tree, or a rectangular building.
15. Photo the Way
Bring along a digital camera or two (smartphones or tablets work great!). Have your kids take pictures along the way, taking turns if necessary.
When you get back home, be sure to check out the photos. I love seeing the world through my kids’ eyes, and this is an easy way to make it happen.
16. Make a Boat
My kids love this one, and I hope yours do as well, if you have any water you can walk to. Give everyone a plastic bag before you leave, and urge your kids to pick up a few natural items along the way.
When you get to the water, have everyone use their natural objects to make a boat. No fair using anything man-made–we don’t want to pollute the water!
Once everyone is ready, put your boats in the water and watch them float.
17. Read the Tracks
If you’re off-road (or on a dirt road like us!), look closely for tracks. Then try to figure out what they are. Look for:
- Tire tracks from vehicles, bikes, or strollers
- Animal tracks
18. Cloud Watchers
Keep your eyes to the sky and see what shapes you can find in the clouds. Try to piece what you find into a story. Perhaps there’s a giant dragon sneaking up on a fish. Or a bear walking towards a tree.
Use your imagination!
19. Story Time
Work together to tell a story using what’s around you for inspiration. Everyone can take turns adding details and plot twists to your story. Wrap it up at a logical point, and then start over again!
20. Nature Observer
Look around as you’re out and pay close attention to the nature around you. Talk about different types of flowers, the differences between conifers and deciduous trees, and anything else you notice.
When you get home, you can have your kids draw a picture of something they enjoyed from nature.
21. Street Safety
As you walk, wherever you go, talk to your kids about street safety. Be sure to practice what you preach–head to the crosswalks instead of jay walking, wait for the green lights, and always watch for cars.
Even if you’re in a rural area without much traffic, teach your kids to walk on the side of the road instead of down the middle. Safety is important anywhere!
What other ideas can you add to make family walks more fun?
I’d love for you to share in the comments!
Photo credit: Noah Hinton via Unsplash