I am a married mother of 2 girls and I live in Perth. We emmigrated from the UK in 2011. I am a freelance writer and a Pet Carer and feel very lucky to do something I really love www.petfriends.net.au
Published September 30th 2016
It is possible to enjoy a walk with children, this is how
So you have family visiting and want the day to go like clock work.
You have prepared and cooked a fabulous meal with no hiccups, the family arrive and play a board game with the kids, your children behave and have not had one fight or screaming match, you all take a walk after a Nigella standard lunch and enjoy the warm sun, your model children holding hands skipping along, not once moaning that their legs ache and they can't walk any further. You all live happily ever after.
Take off your rose tinted glasses and the harsh reality is more like this:
You open a bottle of wine at 10am whilst preparing the food as you think that will help you cook like Nigella, but you forget to cook the chicken and your can't find the potatoes (Nigella must be a fictional character you decide!) The family arrive just as your children start to kill each other and the pleasant afternoon walk is far from pleasant as your children are bickering and moaning non-stop that this is boring and their legs ache and can we go home.
Choose a park to go to, Whiteman Park is just perfect for this as there are a whole host of things to do for adults and children alike, a lot of them free, and the setting is wonderful. Take some loose change in your pocket, a carrier bag and pen for each child, pre-prepared scavenger hunt list (if you are really organised as it will make things easier) and don't forget lots of imagination! You can leave your patience at home as you will not need it on this trip!
A play ground is a good bargaining tool and will keep the children walking if they know they can have a play after or during the walk
The trick is to keep the children engaged whilst walking so they don't know they are walking and slow your pace down so you don't keep saying "hurry up/come on!' There are many ways to do this but here are a few of my favourites:
1) Make up a story and get your children to come up with pieces of the story by looking at things around them as you walk. They will want to walk further so the story progresses! Genius! You could relate your walk to a recent book you have read them too.
Your children will love to really find buried treasure!
2) Get an adult to walk ahead and hide some coins and put a twig cross on the top of the coins "X marks the spot'. Imagine their faces when they find the buried treasure! If you are organised, you could make a treasure map beforehand and take it with you. Keep this going for a bit longer by saying 'there must be more treasure, so keep looking'.
3) Get them involved with a scavenger hunt. If you are organised, print a list of things to find and take with you, or if you forget, just keep telling them the item you want them to find, one at a time so they don't get overwhelmed and forget. I find a printed list makes the children feel more important and more 'real' as they need to tick the items off the list as they find them. Give them a clipboard each and they will feel super important (as well as it being easier to tick off the list!) For younger children who are unable to read yet, you can print picture lists and you can tailor the lists to the type of walk you are going to go on, like a city walk, bush walk, neighbourhood walk etc. The things they collect go in the bags you remembered to bring with you and when everyone has finished, the children will take such joy in showing you all the things they have managed to find. Every list will include a leaf of some description, so take those home and do another activity, some leaf rubbings, later on.
4) Older children could document the walk on a device and make a short movie and when things get boring for everyone, walk in a silly way or play follow my leader, that will always get the kids to wake up!
There are plenty of ways to make a walk interesting for children allowing the adults to talk and enjoy the scenery, moan free. Everyone will have a good time enjoying some quality family time together.
Remember, when you know you need things to go smoothly, a bit of planning will go a long way and if you have any ideas that you use, please comment below.