Walking has undeniable health benefits for people of all ages. Taking long strolls can positively affect your kids’ cardiovascular system, muscle and bone growth, and motor skills. Most children (and adults, for that matter) get too little physical activity, so introducing more walking into their routine is a good idea. It’s also a fun and easy activity that the whole family can do together.
But how do you encourage your kids to walk more? There are actually great ways to do so. To discover handy tips for sprucing up your daily walks, read the expert advice by the staff of Uptown Jungle fun park in Peoria.
What to do on a walk with your children?
You may think that walking is fun in and of itself, but your kids can probably think of many other ways to keep themselves entertained. However, there are some fun strategies to keep your children away from their smartphones and on their feet. Here are some of the best ones to try out.
Teach them how to read a map
Show your kids how to use a map. Not only will they gain useful practical life skills but they’ll also have plenty of fun tracing it and comparing it to real-life landmarks. Most kids love playing explorers, pretending to lead expeditions into uncharted territory, so take them on a fun little adventure in your neighborhood.
Collect cool souvenirs
Many kids get a kick out of looking for fun little collectibles, like cool-looking leaves, twigs, and rocks. You can take a small box with you so that they can fill it with their precious finds. Use this opportunity to teach them about different plant species, look at the structure of each leaf in detail, and watch birds and insects.
Have a conversation
Taking a leisurely stroll is the perfect time to catch up with your kid and talk to them about school, friends, and interests. You’ll have time to hear them out, give them advice, and bond with them all while keeping fit.
Play a game
There are many ways to make your walk a tiny bit competitive. For example, you could play guessing games, like I Spy. Although it’s a car ride classic, it can be perfect for walks, too. You can also try out the Alphabet Game, especially if your little one is just learning how to read and write. Another option is to reinforce their knowledge of numbers by counting some of the things in your path, like cars or trees. Following the Leader is another must-try. Simply do a funny movement as you walk and have your kids imitate it.
Have a (fun) destination
Giving them something to look forward to will definitely make the kids walk more briskly. Visit a friendly neighbor, a nearby store they like, or take them out to a local indoor playground. They’ll feel a sense of purpose as they walk as well as a kind of pride and accomplishment because they reached the destination on foot.
Give them a challenge
Challenges make things more stimulating. This doesn’t mean that you should push your children too hard. The challenge should be age-appropriate, which means it can be very small, like walking a little bit further each day, having a fun race for a short portion of the route, or climbing up a steep street in your neighborhood.
Go out of town
While you won’t be able to do this every day, you can venture out of town from time to time. Drive out to a beautiful natural area in the vicinity or an exciting local sight. Then you can explore these landmarks on foot and put an interesting spin on your normal daily walks.
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