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Things to keep whingey kids distracted on a lovely walk

(25 Posts)
Edumacation Mon 08-Feb-16 20:29:47

We're trying to get us all away from screens once a week, but by eck our kids hate it!

We tend to get half why into a circular walk and the whinging kicks in and then it's just tortuous for the second half, bribing, carrying and cajoling the rest of the way.

So, I think next time:
take pram (youngest is 3.5 so borderline on pram usage - only for longer distance)
take drinks and snacks
shorter distance! (though 2.5 miles isn't far surely??)

But, what else do you do to distract them from their cold fingers and tired legs?

any good games other than eye spy?

Kids are 10, 8 and 3.5.

alicemalice Mon 08-Feb-16 20:30:40

Give them a bucket and get them to collect stuff on the way.

alicemalice Mon 08-Feb-16 20:31:09

Oh and geocaching is great and turns it into a treasure hunt.

LadyStark Mon 08-Feb-16 20:31:18

Geocaching! My 7yo walks miles in hunt of a cache.

ootsideinbacktaefront Mon 08-Feb-16 20:31:49


QuietWhenReading Mon 08-Feb-16 20:33:35

10 and 8 year old shouldn't be whinging IMO, if they are they need to go more often. grin. But a nature sheet might help.

What about a back pack for the little one, if they need a rest every so often?

pinktransit Mon 08-Feb-16 20:34:39

I came on to say geocaching too :-)

TheSpottedZebra Mon 08-Feb-16 20:35:40

Walkie talkies have helped us. We play 'spies'.
The screeching of them is godawful though, so they may not qualify for your lovely walks.

princessconsuelabannahammock Mon 08-Feb-16 20:35:43

A stick for poking things! That keeps my LO amused for hours. And a bucket to collect treasures (leaves, stones etc) but mine are young.

fruitpastille Mon 08-Feb-16 20:36:13

Go with their friends.

BatteryOperatedBoyfriend Mon 08-Feb-16 20:37:41

I have a 4 year old dd, we have a dog and live near the coast so we need to go out in all weathers. If we need some assistance I tell her about the chocolate coins that the fairies leave in the woods or the coins that the mermaids leave behind on the beach.

She normally only gets 2 coins, but she gets really excited.

It normally helps.

Can't help with the older ones though sorry.

MeanwhileHighAboveTheField Mon 08-Feb-16 20:38:10

Always have a goal for a walk - to somewhere vaguely interesting like a pond or the top of a hill. Our local council has a historic environment record site which is great for looking up a ruin etc to walk to.

RudeElf Mon 08-Feb-16 20:42:11

Walkie talkies are a fab idea! Must remember those when we are next out.

What about a football? Or a competition of some sort? Who can spot the most X birds or collect the most of Y item. (Conkers or pine cones) what about printing off those tree identifying worksheets and having them play tree bingo.

Edumacation Mon 08-Feb-16 20:44:52

a goal is good - get to the tower on the hill, or round the reservoir.

we've done a couple of geocaches around here but they were really disappointing - a couple of mouldy pads when I'd told them there might be treasure to swap. It also relies on having good 3G for the app which isn't always the case.

nature sheet could be good? I know bugger all about nature so maybe I could learn something.

angelcake20 Tue 09-Feb-16 15:03:21

Mine also love geocaching, but I don't so I discourage it; we sometimes seem to spend more time hunting caches than walking. When they were younger we had a lot of success with I-spy type books, woods, flowers, trees etc as well as scavenger hunts. Have a look at the Woodland Trust Nature Detectives resources. And yes to plenty of food (not necessarily sweets). We do a lot of walking so they had to get used to it from a young age and long-legged Dd could do 10 miles at 4.5.

BikeRunSki Tue 09-Feb-16 15:12:53

"First one to that rock...."
"Race you to the trees...."
"Can you get to the end of the path just on stones/roots/through puddles..."

YY to Geocaching

Stone to Stone - Start on a stone, jump to a stone -adult shouts next type of ground to run to "Stone to stone to rock to roots to leaf pile....."


Counting steps on a pedometer/GPS watch

Collecting things

Map reading

Map making

Dog walking

Little ones on bikes to keep up with long legs

TyrannosaurusBex Tue 09-Feb-16 15:29:56

Scavenger hunts and flasks of hot chocolate work for us!

Edumacation Wed 10-Feb-16 13:26:40

Runbikeski, you're good!

CutYourHairAndGetAJob Wed 10-Feb-16 13:33:08

I have a three year old and most of our walks are also bear hunts. We're in the city so we have to go through puddles, zebra crossings etc.

We also enjoy seeing how many cats we can find.

Sometimes Dd has to hunt for leaves to bring home for her toy dinosaur to eat.

No experience with bigger kids, sorry!

SisterMoonshine Wed 10-Feb-16 13:41:37

I love these Woodland Trust spotter sheets
They even do a poo one! :D
I've laminated a few of these and got the DCs little star stickers to mark what they find.

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Wed 10-Feb-16 13:46:35

Geocaching yes.

"Going for a walk" is boring to most kids - geocaching is fun (esp if you plan a route with lots of caches relatively close together rather than walking miles to look for one cache, which you might not find).

Letting them ride a bike if the road surfaces are appropriate is also good - my 8 year old probably does 4 miles when I walk one mile (or cycle it with my youngest on his own bike) as he goes backwards and forwards so many times - goes ahead, waits for us, comes back, goes on, waits, comes back...) but we live in the middle of nowhere with good cycle paths away from roads - might be difficult depending on location.

Heading for somewhere can be better than a circular route, especially if it is a playground or cafe or somewhere you can do or see something... obviously getting back is an issue then (at a stretch you could leave the car there the day before!)

You absolutely have to allow getting filthy climbing about - which is one of the good bits of geocaching.

Taking snacks or a picnic is a good idea.

If its just about fresh air you don't have to go for walks as cycle rides are a much easier sell - or spend your screen time watching survival type stuff and just hang about for hours in the woods letting your kids pretend to be surviving grin Mine live outdoors mostly (10.5, 8.5, very nearly 5) its good if they have mates with them for the hours playing survival in the forest part, but not essential if all siblings like hanging out together...

I used to absolutely loathe being made to go for Sunday walks with my family as a child so I don't ever make my kids "go for a walk" but they are still outside for several hours a day of their own accord, and love geocaching and bike rides "to" a destination.

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Wed 10-Feb-16 13:52:32

Sorry, hadn't read the whole thread before repeatedly mentioning geocaching - sorry its been rubbish in your area! Some caches are diappointing, but we've found 80% pretty decent caches in both the UK and Germany - not done any city caches though. Our 10 and 8 year olds are more into it than the nearly 5 year old, and the older ones aren't that interested in what is in the cache (though mouldy rubbish would be very disappointing) but they actually particularly like microcaches which don't have anything in them except a log book, due to being tiny!

RoganJosh Wed 10-Feb-16 13:54:32

If they actually have cold hands then have you tried ski mittens? Ours are cheap and from H&m. Is the rest of them cold too?

NathalieM Thu 02-Jun-16 13:53:34

I had never heard of geocaching before this thread, but it sounds delightful! Thank you mumsnet.

I used to love exploring new places when I went on frequent walks with my parents and sister. Anywhere with rockpools or climbable trees would keep me happy! I could whine a fair bit too!

Silverstreaks Fri 24-Jun-16 21:31:35

A branch to swing on that they can reach.
A branch that needs a hand to reach.
A puddle to jump in that only comes up to your ankles.
A fallen tree to walk along that does not have any moss.
A tree with a vine that you can climb.
The brightest fungi.
Any kind of bone.
The oldest, calcified poo.
A chocolate wrapper.
A squirrel!

Admittedly we walk in the woods mostly, but I'm sure some of those could be found on most walks.

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