Everyone knows how to walk, and once your child has mastered the skill, it’s one of the easiest ways in the world to be physically active. It can be done practically anywhere and without special and expensive equipment – all you need are some comfortable shoes.
Walking is a fantastic activity for your children and you. It’s free, you can be spontaneous and it’s a great way to spend quality time together. Encouraging children to hike from a young age is a lifelong investment. It helps create traffic safety awareness and creates a traffic culture, helps teenagers practice independent walking, and creates good habits for an active life in adults.
The youngest spend a large part of their time indoors, in kindergarten, school, or at home, and not in the natural environment. An hour’s walk, preferably in daylight, is extremely important for the health and growth of children, as well as adults.
Sometimes it is difficult to motivate children to separate themselves from games and phones, but there are ways to make the walk interesting, and because of this, your child will always happily wait for that moment.
Set A Goal
Aimless walking will seem uninteresting to any child, and they will not understand the point of moving their legs just for the sake of “walking”. Each walk should have its own goal and should be well organized.
Promise the child that you will go somewhere for hot chocolate after the walk, or mention that you have a “special surprise”. It could be popcorn or similar.
Also, you can always arrange to eat your afternoon snack outside, on the way. Prepare a sandwich, a fruit tree, or a fruit shake that you will take with you in a bottle and that will consume you while you walk and casually chat. If the weather is nice, you can always find a bench that will be just yours and sit for a while to rest.
Every child will be happy to go for a walk if he knows that at the end he will spend half an hour or an hour on the children’s playground. Swinging, bouncing, and other physical activities are a source of endless fun.
When you’re walking with your child, it’s time dedicated only to you. Try the questions, you will see that the child will completely open up and tell you some details from his life that he is not able to talk about while playing or watching cartoons.
When you see that he is getting tired of answering your questions, try a game of guessing the mystery animals and objects. Imagine something (you or the child) and let the other person guess what it is. With just a few walks and these games, children can learn everything, from what wild and domestic animals are, to the materials from which objects are made.
Try to interest the child in the world around you. Explain traffic, weather, plants, and animals. Try to get them interested in as many concepts as you come across along the way. Encourage curiosity and observation skills by “capturing” a small section of ground space with a string or by drawing a circle with a stick.
If it’s the weekend and you have more free time, take your child somewhere in nature or a really fun place where they will enjoy themselves. Bring other children who like to play, neighbors, relatives, or friends from kindergarten. Every walk is more interesting when it is with your peers.