Family walks in the Lake District are amazing in themselves. The scenery is awesome, the walks are interesting, and the company good! But we also know that little people get tired and bored easily. That’s why we wanted to share with you some of our secrets to helping the kids have a really good experience on the fells, even if it is a long day.
Here’s a list of ideas to help keep the children happy and enthusiastic whilst on your family walk:
- The “lava game”. Stay on the rocks / stepping stones etc to stay safe from the lava that’s on the floor / in the water etc.
- Traffic light game. Let one person be the leader and shout red for stop, yellow for dance and green for go!
- Scavenger hunt. Collect things whilst on your walk. You can just ask the children to find you things, or you can provide them with a list beforehand. E.g. oak leaf, acorn, bark, pebble, sheep’s wool, blade of grass etc.
- Nature bingo. Prepare your bingo sheet in advance with things to spot and cross off, until someone gets bingo! E.g. Slugs, frogs, puddles, ponds, lakes, footpath signs, cairns, trigpoints, trees, dragonflies, heather, sunshine, rainbows, stiles, gates etc.
- Memory game. I went on a family walk to <insert place> and I saw: a fox, a tree, snow etc. Take it in turns with each player adding a new thing to the end of the list. Everyone takes it in turns to remember the ever growing list.
- Memory game 2. Collect small objects whilst on your walk. During a break, cover them up and see how many the kids can remember. E.g. pine cones, twigs, holly leaf, berries, stones etc.
- Find me something! We love this game. The grown ups ask the children to find them something that is… e.g green, smooth, bumpy, wet, pink, hard, soft, alive, edible etc.
- I Spy. We all know and love I spy! For younger children we use “I spy with my little eye something coloured”, rather than “something beginning with”.
- Binoculars / magnifying glass. The kids take their own rucksacks on our walks. They often take binoculars to check out things in the distance, or a magnifying glass to look more closely at bugs etc.
- Roly poly. This is one of our all time favourites whilst on our walks. Find any grassy sloped hill and roll down it for fun! The grown ups have even been known to take part in this game too!
- Stones. Our kids love stones. They either like to collect them (sometimes they paint them at home, other times they play with them en route), or throw them into rivers/lakes. They also really enjoy adding stones to cairns.
- Tower building. Whenever we’re on a lake district beach, the kids love to build stone towers. And they enjoy it even more when it’s an old late mine as the flat slates balance so much better on top of one another!
- Dam building. Making a dam on the edge of a river, or a channel to guide the water through is another family favourite. Be careful though!
- Simon Says. Another classic. The children like to be “Simon”, making us do all sorts of silly things on our walks!
- Mobile Art. Our children love to take out their paints, paper and pencils. They’ll often be found drawing the views.
- Hiking scrapbook. Throughout the walk, collect leaves, flowers, parking tickets etc and create a scrapbook of the places you’ve visited. My children like to add the drawings they’ve done to the scrapbook too.
- Photography. If you can find an old or cheap camera, children love to take photos themselves. Let them loose on the views, wildlife etc. Much fun to be had.
- Tree climbing. Whenever we find a tree that we deem suitable, the kids love to try and climb it.
Finally, remember to have regular breaks and snacks, and go at the slowest kids pace, so that no one feels left behind.
If you want to add suggestions to this list, please get in touch!