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Let the walking games begin

There’s no doubt that walking with children brings extra challenges. You will need to choose the route carefully to make sure the terrain, obstacles and length are suited to all members of the family. But once this is done, it can still be tricky to motivate children to become enthusiastic hikers! Don’t let boredom set in. Why not try incorporating some simple games to inject a bit of fun into the outing. Here are a handful of suggestions:

pine-cones2

 

I Spy...

It’s a classic. An oldie and a goodie and there’s lots of reasons it has been popular for so many years. You can try variations to keep things fresh. I spy with my little eye, something ending with... I hear with my little ear, something beginning with...

 

Do as I do...

Every few minutes introduce a 30 second section where everyone has to copy a particular type of activity as you walk. For the next 30 seconds we will...dawdle, walk sideways, sprint, walk backwards, swing our arms, jump, skip, hop, piggy back, dance, hands on hips...

squirrel

Follow my leader...

Pick a trigger sound (such as bird song or an aeroplane passing) or visual trigger (like the sun going behind a cloud or spotting a squirrel). Line up in single file, tallest at the front and shortest at the back, and start walking. When you hear or see the trigger, the person at the front of the line has to run to the back. Continue until everyone's had a turn to lead the line.

How many steps...

Look for an obvious landmark ahead and let everyone have a guess at how many steps it will take to get there. The person with the closest guess gets to choose a song for everyone to sing.

Look and find...

Make a little treasure hunt using nature’s various treasures. If you’re feeling really enthused make up a small pack of cards with pictures of things you may be able to find before you set out (these can be a general set that will be re-usable on lots of walks). This can work particularly well in woodlands and moorland. First person to find a...pinecone, yellow flower, oak leaf, stile, badger set, bench, thatched cottage, butterfly, bee...

Colour search...

During the walk give each of the children one colour to look out for, such as red. Anything they see that is that is this colour (a car, road sign, jacket, flower...) counts as one point. Who saw the most things? Remember green is probably not the best choice in this game unless you want every blade of grass to be counted!

Word dominos...

Work as a whole family to create a word chain using the things you see or hear along your walk. Just like dominos, the next word in the chain must begin with the last letter of the previous word. Woodpecker, rainbow, wheat, tree, enchanted wood or earwig.... see how long can you make each chain before you get stuck.

 Radio chat...

Imagine you are working as a radio presenter and you have to describe the walking journey for the listeners. Take it in turns to talk about the journey, describing all the sights, smells and sounds for your audience. If you’d like to add some more challenge, let each person choose a well-known person to imitate whilst they are talking. Commentate as though you are the Queen, David Attenborough, Brian Blessed, Harry Potter...

Do you have any other walking games that you play?


12 August 2014 

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