"Are we nearly there yet?" is a question that we've all asked and that all parents inevitably hear at some point in their lives. Make walking more than just a way of getting from A to B with these seven tips. Make it a fun way of looking after your and your child's health!
Walking with your child can be a wonderful experience. It's a simple activity that offers health benefits for your little protégé, as well as helping you both to bond. Walking is free as long as you're already properly equipped. So read ahead for our tips on enjoying this fun and eye-opening activity.
1 – Turn walking into an adventure
Rather than just suggesting that you go for a walk, turn your little outing into an adventure that just happens to involve walking. For example, you might suggest that you and your child explore the park and see what you can find there: a play area, river or lake perhaps. Anything that gives walking purpose is perfect.
2 – Make the activity interesting
Walking is fun! You could organise a treasure hunt to find items like leaves or certain trees, or come up with a mini obstacle course where your child has to scrabble over tree trunks, jump over puddles, or climb a small hill or a sand dune if you live near a beach.
It isn't walking that's boring; it's dull, flat paths!
3 – Bring a map with you
You'll be able to show your child where you are. It's also a chance to give them a bit of responsibility. With map in hand, your child can take the initiative and even switch up your route. It's a way to make walking exciting by stimulating their curiosity.
4 – Play "I Spy"
This fun game is an absolute classic! Just come up with the first letter or the colour of an object you can see (a tree, for example) and have your child guess what you're thinking of. Then it's your turn to guess!
5 – Give your child a camera
They can create a scrapbook of discoveries from each of your different walks. And they'll be able to look back on these treasured memories when they're older.
6 – Bring something to eat and drink…
And which your child will enjoy! You could for example bring a picnic to have during your walk. Don't forget to give your child some of it to carry in their backpack. This will give them a bit of responsibility, just like a grown-up.
7 – Give them a pedometer
It's recommended that your child spends at least 60 minutes a day doing a moderate activity like walking in order to boost their health. That means somewhere between 12 000 and 15 000 steps every day.
By monitoring your child's activity with a pedometer, you will be able to make sure you follow these health guidelines, as well as giving them an interesting, challenging incentive to go for a walk with you.
- HANDY TIP: When spending time together in this way (and you could even bring one of your child's friends), make sure the kids set the pace. Don't worry about cutting short your walk at the first sign of tiredness. It's best that they are left wanting more so that they will benefit from this healthy activity on a regular basis!