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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:



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...


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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Friday, 23 March 2018
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The length of our walking guides is given in miles and rounded to the nearest full mile (whole number) for simplicity. For short walks (of less than 2 miles) or walks that have a length that ends in .5, a more accurate walk length may be given in the first section of the walk introduction. For example, the Length in the header may be listed as 6 miles, and the introduction may confirm that the exact length of the walk is 5.5 miles. The walk length is calculated from the GPS file that was created by the walk author GPS tracking the walk whilst walking, using the iFootpath App GPS Tracker, meaning it is very accurate. Our bespoke tracker is particularly detailed and plots a walkers position about every 10 seconds. The tracker is calibrated to match two other reputable map and walking sources, Ordnance Survey and Nike. As with all standardised walk and map lengths, the distance does not take account of hills and slopes, just the distance you would measure using a piece of string on a flat map version of the terrain, so hilly walks will feel longer than stated. If you track the route using another GPS App or Tracker App or Fitness Device, you can expect the distance you record to be different due to different calibrations. This is particularly true of those Apps and devices that count your motion and steps – these can only guess the distance you have travelled with each step and so are much less accurate.

Grade (Boots)

The grade of a walk is an indicator of how difficult the terrain is that you will encounter along the way. This does not take into account the walk length but does suggest how challenging the walk will be. It takes into account things like hills, path surfaces and obstacles (like stiles, gates, steps and rock scrambles). An easy walk, graded as 1 (and shown as 1 Boot) indicates a walk that is essentially flat, has no sharp hills to climb, has no stiles, is easy to navigate (probably along a well-worn path) and is suitable for most levels of fitness. A difficult walk, graded as 5 (and represented by 5 Boots) indicates a walk that is strenuous and involves steep ascents and/or descents. It may be technically challenging involving difficult terrain or obstacles that require scrambling with your hands. Please note that the grading for walks is subjective and open to interpretation and should only be used as a guide when selecting a walk.

NOTE: Do be aware that the level of stamina required for any walk will vary depending on both the walk length and the difficulty grade - you should only walk within your limits.

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