Are we nearly there yet? Walking with Children once you are kitted out from the Outdoor clothing shop
So you have bought your kit from your outdoor clothing shop, and the kids are raring to go but how do you keep them interested when outside, here are a few tips gathered from friends and family.
Altitude – Kids love the idea of climbing big hills but making a beeline for Snowdon (3,561ft) might simply exhaust them rather than inspire them, head for a little mountain that is on your doorstep or forms part of your holiday getaway.
Map – Show them where you are going, let them se the GPS if you have one or draw them a simplified map including things to look for, or get them to draw there own as part of the planning stage.
Scenery – We like the big view but kids don’t tend to be so impressed so think about a smaller scale, such as streams, climbable trees, MINI-BEASTS and creepy crawlies are always a favourite, so pack a small magnifying glass or use the zoom on the camera.
Certificate – Celebrate early achievements with handing out semi-official looking certificates – all ready to put on bedroom walls or the door of the fridge.
Kit – Invest in proper boots and waterproofs – cold wet kids are infinitely harder to motivate than dry ones. Check out the bargains on the website
Length – keep it enjoyable, keep it short and build up the stamina two to three miles maximum, cries of ‘”I’m tired” or the classic “are we nearly there yet?” need to be avoided
Ice Cream – the ultimate motivator, make sure there is a shop that sells this at the end of the walk and get there before it shuts, or there will be trouble! Normally from the adults!
Rucksack – let them have there own bag with a few bits and pieces in it, as it makes them feel important like proper explorers
Bribes –Make sure you have an infinite supply of sweets, snacks crisps, chocolate to keep blood sugars high and to help provide incentives to reach the next style summit or waypoint
Variety – Make sure there is plenty to look at, very the terrain which the route takes adding liberal does of rivers woodland lakes and castles to sustain their interest. Getting them to make up stories along the way is always a good idea, lots of princesses and dragons abound the countryside.
Geocaching – great way to liven up a walk – that chance to find treasure is great for kids of all ages, but grown-ups remember it is supposed to be for the kids.
Remember that once you have your gear from your outdoor clothing shop or store then the world is literally your oyster, and these first outdoor trips can be the key to starting a lifelong interest, so let’s try and get it right.
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