8 Ways to Turn a Regular Family Walk into an Adventure Walk
Quality family time doesn’t have to be expensive to be fun. Simply grab the kids and your jackets to head outdoors for a fun Adventure Walk! Get exercise, great conversation, fresh air and an opportunity to take in the scenery around you with a casual stroll. A simple family walk can become an “Adventure Walk” by just giving it a new name and a fresh idea. What child (or adult) can resist an adventure? Try any of the 8 ways below to turn a plain family walk around the neighborhood into a family Adventure Walk!
1. Bring containers along to pick berries. Take advantage of the season if it’s summer or fall and be on the lookout for blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, or whichever berries grow in your locale. Don’t forget to eat some while you’re picking!
2. Role play a favorite story, assign characters and dress in costume. For the creative family, choose a story (say Alice in Wonderland) before you leave the house and assign each family member a character to play. Dress each member in an appropriate costume (Alice wears a blue dress) and make up your own story/adventure as you walk (Alice goes down the rabbit hole by going down the spiral slide at the park).
3. Bring gloves and trash bags and have your own clean up day. Clean up day can be anytime and has a special meaning when your family is dedicated to keeping your own neighborhood clean. This is a great way to drive home the point to kids (even teens) about why littering is so wrong. Make sure kids know not to touch sharp objects, such as glass or metal, that may be on the ground.
4. Have a scavenger hunt. Before leaving home, print out a short list of items that can be found in your area, and have kids search for them as you walk and check them off the list. Fall items could include pine cones, brown leaves, moss, and flat rocks, just to name a few. Summertime items could include grass, dandelions, butterflies, etc.
5. Go house shopping in your neighborhood. Look for vacant houses signed for sale, and help the kids join you in looking in the windows. It’s fun to imagine your family moving into the empty house, where everything would go, who would have which room, etc. (Make sure the house is really vacant before peering in the windows though!)
6. Go somewhere you can explore. Find a place that is out of the way where not many people go. For example, take your kids to the fairgrounds (after the state fair has packed up and moved on) and observe how different it looks while it is empty.
7. Take a pedometer and count steps. Guess how many steps it it around your block and have everyone write down their guesses before you leave.
8. Tell funny or embarrassing stories. Kids love to hear funny or embarrassing stories from their parents’ pasts, and it can even encourage them to open up and tell a few of their own.
Take advantage of your imagination to inject a little excitement into a regular family walk. Adventure Walks can create great family bonding time that will have your children looking forward to family time!
We originally published this article September 24, 2008. Photo courtesy of stock.xchng.