If your kids ever moan at the thought of going out for a walk or if they just don’t see it as a great way to spend their day then you’re probably here looking for help. Finding fun things to do on a walk, especially with kids, is key to making them feel like it’s going to be worth their while!
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I’ve been there, my kids never used to enjoy just going for a walk and so it became a chore. Something we ought to do but we didn’t look forward to. It took some effort to find things that were fun for my kids to do on their walk but once we did it made it continually got better.
Of course you don’t have to do every single one of these ideas on your walks to make them fun and exciting. Choose a few to have in mind for when you’re out and about and see how you go.
- 1 Scavenger hunt
- 2 Take photos from different perspectives
- 3 Make a film
- 4 Play I spy
- 5 Do some nature journalling
- 6 Take a picnic
- 7 Make a journey stick
- 8 See who can do the funniest walk
- 9 Just listen
- 10 Find puddles to splash in
- 11 Do some rubbings
- 12 Look up close
- 13 Geocaching
- 14 Search for bugs
- 15 Beat your step count
- 16 Obstacle course
- 17 Go on a litter pick
- 18 Get a map out
- 19 Bring a favourite teddy and document their trip
- 20 Create some art
- 21 The floor is lava
- 22 Look for images all around you
- 23 Find footprints or make your own
- 24 Have a competition to find things
- 25 Tell silly stories
- 26 What can you smell?
- 27 Birdwatching
- 28 Let the kids choose the way
The classic idea to make walks fun is to have a scavenger hunt. There are so many options for this depending on where you’re walking from a simple one where you find something to match each colour of the rainbow to more tricky ones.
Take photos from different perspectives
Encouraging your kids to take photos of what they are interested in on their walk is a great way to keep them occupied and give them some focus for their walk. Another way to add on to that challenge is to encourage them to take photos from a weird or different perspective. So, perhaps a shot of a tree from on the ground and looking up. Maybe of a bug from a bugs eye view. Or of a plant super close.
Make a film
Another option for kids to do is to get them to film each other or themselves as if they were doing a tv show. Let them tell you on camera about the interesting things they’re seeing on their walk. This is always a fun one to look back on a few years later too!
Play I spy
Another classic. I don’t need to tell you how to play do I?
I spy is a great way to keep kids happy, interacting with the environment and also helps a little with language development and spelling too. A great all rounder! While on a walk it can keep things fun especially if you have competitive children!
Do some nature journalling
Arty children might enjoy taking a moment on their walk to create some pictures of what they see. Having a notebook and some pencils in your bag is always a good idea as you never know what you might see!
To encourage your child to go on the walk, give them some ownership of the nature journal task and ask them to think about what they might like to draw in advance. You could then keep a lookout when walking to see if you can find the perfect subject for them.
Take a picnic
Having a break along the way in your walk, or even just a snack to share on shorter ones can help kids stay positive and have fun on their walk.
You can then use this time to rest and let them play in nature and use their imaginations or you could do drawing, play more games or any of the other ideas on this list.
Make a journey stick
This is an ancient tradition that comes from Native American and Aboriginal tribes and one that kids might love too. Get a stick at the beginning of your walk and attach things that you find on your walk to it. When you return your stick can help to retell the journey that you went on.
See who can do the funniest walk
Kids find joy in the silliest things so let’s incorporate that into our quest to make walking fun. Have a challenge and see who can make up the funniest way to walk. Make sure that you join in too – kids love seeing adults do goofy things!
Who can hear the tiniest thing? Maybe a distant car or a bird singing in a tree? Perhaps you can hear leaves rustling from an animal or maybe the wind is making the trees noisy.
What can be heard when you take the time to just listen? Any surprises?
Find puddles to splash in
It’s amazing to watch kids be so engrossed in splashing and walking through puddles. If you’re walking after or during rain then this one is a great idea. Make sure they either have good waterproofs or a change of clothes in the car! Your challenge as an adult is to just let them splash…
Do some rubbings
By having some crayons and paper to hand you’ll always be able to do some rubbings of tree bark or even leaves. Or maybe you’re on a walk through a park and you see some man made items such as a climbing frame with an interesting texture.
Rubbings are easy for all ages to do and you can get some really interesting art from them.
Look up close
Grab a magnifying glass and use it to look at things up close on your walk. Let your kids choose what to look at, it won’t be what you choose I’m sure! You can combine this with nature journalling and recording what they see or just let them explore with it.
Similar to a treasure hunt but a little more technical is geocaching. If you’re on a walk you can see if there are any caches around and follow the clues to find it. Some are more tricky than others but my kids always loved trying to find treasure!
Search for bugs
Keep an eye out for bugs on your nature walk. Encourage your kids to take a look under logs and see if they can spot anything before quietly putting it back. You don’t have to touch them of course, but look and see how many you can find and what kinds are around you.
Beat your step count
If you have a kids activity tracker (or access to an adult one or a mobile device that can track steps) then try and guess the amount of steps you think you’ll do on your walk and see if you’re anywhere near your guess. Or if you’ve done the walk before you could aim to beat your steps count.
Go on a litter pick
For any kids who want to protect the environment this is a good idea and it can help a walk have a purpose for some. Picking up some litter from an area on your walk can give a sense of achievement too.
Of course take precautions, use a litter picker if you can and have some gloves and hand sanitiser too.
Get a map out
If you have a map of the area you’re walking around, whether that’s an Ordnance Survey Map or just one you’ve picked up from an attraction, kids love to be in charge and help to navigate on walks.
Map skills are really important so it’s great from that perspective too and learning about what each symbols mean and correlating what is seen on a map to real life is actually kinda fun too!
Bring a favourite teddy and document their trip
Don’t forget teddy! If your child has a favourite toy at home whether it’s a toy car, a favourite doll or a lego mini figure why not encourage them to bring it along so they can enjoy the fun walk too!
Another idea might be to take photos of the toy on the walk doing all the fun things!
Create some art
For something a little different, especially if you’re taking a small break, why not gather up some nature and make some art. Perhaps it’s some fallen leaves of different colours, sticks, moss, grass or flowers. What kind of art can you all make? Maybe make something together or do it individually.
The floor is lava
This is a game my kids would play endlessly at home and then they started to take it out on their walks too. Especially moorland walks we did in the Peak District where they’d lead from stone to stone and pretend the grassy bits were lava.
You could also do this by not stepping on cracks or never stepping on the path.
Look for images all around you
Look for clouds that look like dogs, trees with eyes that look like a face or patterns in the mud. The more you look the more you’ll see faces and images everywhere.
Find footprints or make your own
Muddy days can bring perfect conditions to see if you can find footprints of animals or birds in the area. Maybe you can see evidence of dogs having gone for a walk?
If you can’t find others footprints then maybe try and make your own. Either walk through mud and see what prints you leave behind or walk through a puddle on to a dry path.
Have a competition to find things
Another one that is good for competitive kids. I feel like this is similar to car games I had as a child myself. I’d choose a colour of car and my brother would choose another.
You could do this on a walk with anything. Maybe you could choose dogs to look out for or birds. Or different things of different colours or shapes. Probably don’t let your child choose green though eh?
Tell silly stories
Start to tell a story and then get each person on the walk to add to it. A good idea is to stop your section before someone is about to do something and let the next person end what you started. It can be hilarious especially if you’re all in a fun mood!
What can you smell?
Similar to the listening idea this one is about another of our senses – smell. It’s a difficult one to hone, but might be fun for some kids to give it a try. Keep your nose open as you walk and every time you smell something try and describe it and see where the smell comes from.
Keeping an eye on any birds you see on your walk is a good way to encourage a love of nature. Birds are naturally attractive to kids (an adults) and we just love to watch them, identify them and enjoy them.
They don’t have to be fancy birds, just regular bird species that you get to recognise is great. Maybe once you get to know what a bird looks like you can learn it’s call and see if you can hear that too.
Let the kids choose the way
If you’re confident you won’t get too lost outside on your walk then a good way to make your walk more interesting is to let the kids choose which way to go.
Either let them go which way looks interesting or encourage them to plan the walk beforehand so you can have the best walk.