“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” —Albert Einstein
Family time doesn’t always have to be about big, expensive trips out. Sometimes a simple stroll in local woodland or a nearby park is all you need to have fun together, get the exercise in and have them worn out in time for bed.
And remember that a walk doesn’t have to be just a walk: you can make it more fun with simple activities on the way and a few considered items in your bag, as well as the right clothing so the weather doesn’t ruin the day, and maybe even a set of wheels! Take a look…
Have a layer for every eventuality – if you can
We know that, in certain climates, the “right clothes” could mean anything from a light t-shirt one minute to a hoodie and rain jacket thrown on top the next. You might need wellies, as well as sunglasses, all in one day!
As a parent, you’ll probably get used to taking a well equipped bag with you everywhere you go. So we say, do layer up if you can: even if the day starts off warm, tie a long-sleeved top around their waist so they have it to hand if it gets cooler and pop a light jacket in a bag in case you’re out longer than planned, you hit some chillier weather or simply find yourself in some shadier forest areas which can be a little colder than being out in bright sun.
If you’re walking in really unsettled weather, you’ll definitely need a few extra staples like a brolly or waterproof coat in case the heavens open, and, on the other end of the scale, suntan lotion if the sun decides to shine super-hot. And waterproof coveralls are great for any-weather days: rain, do what you will!
Invest in some wheels
Bikes and scooters are great investments, as they definitely make a day out more of an adventure!
Scooters, especially for little ones, can save those legs a bit if you find yourselves wandering further than planned, and bikes will mean you can cover way more ground.
Fit a bike with a basket and your kids will love to use it to collect all sorts of treasures along the way, too!
Do also remember to invest in a helmet, just in case of any falls.
“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” — Laura Ingalls Wilder
Take a nature sheet
Get the kids observing all the nature around them by making a simple nature sheet before you go. Draw (or get them to draw) items you’re likely to see and a box next to it for them to tick once they’ve spotted it.
Include simple things like a snail, a leaf, a twig, a conker, a squirrel, a flower, a dog. It will keep them in the moment, get them excited about the wildlife around them and, perhaps most importantly, stop them thinking about tired feet as they walk.
Pack snacks and drinks
It might sound obvious, but do remember to take a few foodie bits to keep the littles going as you walk. You don’t need lots: a few pieces of cut-up apple or rice cakes will do the trick. And make sure you have a bottle of water in place: outdoor adventures can be thirsty work for young ones, especially if they decide to run and run (which they often do!).
We also recommend taking wet wipes for sticky hands after a picnic and plasters for any possible falls or rubbing shoes.
Go fruit picking
While we get that it’s not an option all year round, once the blackberries and apples start to come out, if you know somewhere they grow, grab your baskets and get foraging! After all, there’s nothing more satisfying than coming home with bowls of fruit.
And then, if you’re not too exhausted, why not make a fruit pie or crumble (along with the kids) to enjoy as a reward for your busy day. You totally deserve it.
“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” — Henry David Thoreau
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