Getting Active with Children Outdoors
Whether you’re walking, cycling, scooting or even running, exploring outside and going for walks and rides is great exercise for children and spending time outdoors, particularly in nature, is really beneficial for children’s development in other ways.
We’ve gathered together some tops tips, advice and links to activities to help you encourage your children to get active outdoors.
Finding Places to Explore
The Ordnance Survey has joined forces with Natural England to create The Getting Outside during Covid-19 website bringing together current advice from government, councils and other outdoor organisations, to help you decide where to go and what to do in the open air. The site enables people to search by activity and location for suggestions and ideas about how they can enjoy the outside safely. Search Lincolnshire and see what you can find!
Walking with Children
Walking is great low impact exercise for children and the whole family, and its free! It’s also a really nice way to spend time together, whether you’re going for a stroll to explore your local area, or you’re visiting a park or the countryside. Sometimes however children need a bit of encouragement to put down their screens get out on a walk. Often if you have a focus for the walk, such as a interesting destination, an activity like a scavenger hunt or a game to play along the way, children will find it much more enjoyable.
Tops tips from Sustrans include:
- Focus on an exciting destination for them like a park, a playground, woods or a pond where they can run around freely and explore.
- Choose a wiggly, winding route rather than a long, straight one.
- Take a camera and ask them to help take photographs of your journey.
- Encourage your child to invite a friend along to share the fun.
- Take your dog along for the walk and if you don’t have one, see if you can take your neighbour’s.
- If children are flagging, take a break and refuel with healthy snacks and drinks.
- Add excitement by walking in fancy dress or pretending to be characters from their favourite book.
Read the full article from Sustrans on advice for walking with toddlers and children. Read more
Also see this article on Fun Walking Games to Play on a Hike or Stroll with Kids
As well as being brilliant for exercise, cycling is a life skill which provides an opportunity to develop social skills, thinking skills, resilience, perseverance and independence. Its also a great way to travel in an environmentally friendly way to get to school or pop to the shops. Follow the link below for information about learning to cycle, cycling safely as a family and where to enjoy cycling.
British Cycling have created Let’s Ride Local to encourage safe and responsible cycling – the website includes tips and advice on riding locally, as well as instructions on teaching children how to ride. Read more
If you’re child is just getting started take a look at Cycling UK’s how to teach your child to ride a bike – click here
Active Play and Exploration
The National Trust 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4 provides a great list of outdoor activities, to encourage children to enjoy adventures in the great outdoors. Why not see how many you can tick off?