Walks are free. Walks are fun. They’re even more fun for everyone when a neighborhood stroll becomes a game with a goal. So lace up the walking shoes and venture outside. Here are some fun activities for kids to do while walking. They’re ideal entertainment and exercise rolled up in one.
As you head out for your walk, use a penny toss to determine your route. A toss for heads indicates a left turn, a toss for tails a right. At each intersection, be it a street or path, toss the coin again to decide which way to go. Time to head home — or continue walking — can be determined by a coin toss, as well. A word of warning: Take this walk only in neighborhoods and areas you are familiar with.
Print the alphabet, from A to Z, down a piece of paper. Take the paper (and a pen or pencil) along, and cross off each letter as you see things starting with that letter. A is for animal, ants, airplanes; B is for a bike, building, blue sky; C is for crosswalk, chipmunk, car. Go through the alphabet, from A to Z. This walk takes far longer than you’d expect. And be sure to put on your thinking caps before heading out, as some letters — such as K, Q, X and Z — require some pretty creative thinking.
I Spy Walk
You know how to play the game. This walk simply provides a much larger space in which to spy things. A twist to the spy game could be choosing a specific theme for the walk. For example, designate a color — blue and green are easy, yellow and orange a little more difficult, purple and pink likely the most difficult of all — and direct eyes little and big to watch for items matching the chosen theme. Whatever sort of spying your group chooses, be sure to designate at least one walker to keep an eye on safe walking rules, especially when it comes to spying oncoming cars at intersections and when crossing streets.
Animal Tracker Walk
Depending on your environment, an animal tracker walk could take two forms. Those in more natural surroundings can look for actual animal tracks. Lead into the walk first by perusing a book on animal tracks, perhaps carrying it along. Walks in more urban and suburban spots can mean tracking animals themselves. Keep track of those spotted, such as dogs and cats, but perhaps mice, horses and unusual animals, too. And don’t forget the birds, for they’re certainly animals, too.
Do You Hear What I Hear Walk
With the exception of the animal tracker walk, the walks above require astute vision skills. This one, though, requires sharp hearing. Keep track of all the sounds heard while out and about. Consider the loud sounds such as sirens, motorcycles, barking dogs and honking horns. Don’t forget the quiet sounds, too, the ones that require listening closely, such as bees buzzing, leaves rustling, sprinklers running, wind chimes tinkling and more. Of course, there’s the most glorious sound of all for those who are out and walking about: The music of a nearby ice cream truck! Be sure to have cash in your pocket before hitting the streets with the kiddos, just in case.
Lisa Carpenter is a Colorado-based freelance writer. She publishes the Grandma’s Briefs website, where she shares bits on life’s second act and strives to smash the outdated “grandma” stereotype. Lisa has been married to the same man forever; together they have three adult daughters and two grandsons, children of the middle daughter and her husband. Lisa is easy to find online as she’s known as GrandmasBriefs wherever she goes: Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and others.
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