Taking a walk together is the perfect family activity. Besides being free and convenient, walks offer a trifecta of physical, mental, and emotional benefits. Families can enjoy fresh air, exercise, and the opportunity to connect.
Once in a while, you may hear some groans about heading out for the family walk. Try these five easy ways to keep walks interesting!
Make it a competition.
Nothing adds fun like good old-fashioned competition! Here are a few ideas for turning your walk into a race:
- Divide into two groups and walk the same loop (starting in opposite directions) through the neighborhood. Kids will get a kick out of seeing where they pass each other in the route and will love “walk racing” to the finish line.
- Run mini races at the end of every block. This adds excitement to longer walks (and builds in interval training for both kids and parents).
- Be a family team and race yourselves! Time the same route every day to try to beat your previous time or set a distance goal for the month and see how far you can go!
Get in the hunt.
Walking “hunts” keep things interesting (and encourage kids to “see” and appreciate the world around them!) Try:
- Scavenger hunts: Great templates are available online, or create your own using things unique to your neighborhood and children’s interests.
- Animal watching: See how many different types of birds, bugs, or dogs you can spot. Frisco is teeming with wildlife and you’ll be amazed how many cool creatures are right around us.
- Counting competitions: Pick an item (dogs, birds, painted doors, school sports signs, etc) and see how many you can find along your route. Divide into teams to add a competitive element!
Learn on the go.
Take “active learning” to a whole new level with these ideas for both younger kids and older kids:
For younger kids:
- Pick a letter of the day and look for things that begin with that letter.
- Pick a number of the day and look for it on houses.
- Discuss the weather, the season, and related nature concepts while looking for examples.
- Work on directional words and concepts (across, beside, closer, farther, left, right).
For older kids:
- Make a map of the neighborhood and “navigate” with the cardinal directions. Bonus points if you have a compass!
- Work on foreign language skills by identifying vocabulary as you walk. (Or go bilingual and use only your second language for conversation!)
- Play trivia, picking a topic of interest (history, sports, movies, etc.) and preparing a different question for every street on your path.
- Work on memorization: If kids have a memory-based assignment for school, bring flashcards and practice on the go
Multi-task and incorporate sports skills and weights into your routine.
- Dribble a basketball as you walk (take turns each block).
- Dribble a soccer ball and pass back and forth.
- Carry hand weights.
- Stop and do a conditioning challenge every block (let kids take turns being the coach and picking the challenge).
Change up the scenery.
Take advantage of our areas many wonderful open trails! A few favorites to try:
- Frisco Commons trails
- Cottonwood Creek greenbelt
- Little Elm lake trails
- Arbor Hills (especially the unpaved trails!)
- Oakpoint Nature Preserve
What would you add to this list? Share your ideas for keeping family walks FUN!