Keeping kids entertained while you go out for a walk or on a long car journey can be a challenge, especially if they are little. Here are some great games you can play to make the trip more fun for everyone.
Walkin’ the Planks
You will need: An open space with plenty of twigs and branches to hand
Find a patch of ground where there’s plenty of dead wood lying around and play Walkin’ the Planks. Rearrange logs and branches so they link up to form a circle. Be sure to leave a few gaps here and there to jump over. Take turns to walk your wobbly course, balancing as you go. Don’t let your feet touch the floor more than three times per circuit. You go first to test its stability; if it’s very tricky, your children may enjoy looking for a long, sturdy stick with which to steady themselves.
What’s Your Story, Corey?
This is a silly game to liven up an otherwise dull walk around the shops or home from school. As you approach someone coming the other way, have a quick glance at their face. Think up an appropriate first name and concoct a tiny piece of their life. When you’re definitely sure they’re at least ten paces past you and won’t be able to hear you, start up a sentence with their imaginary name, for example: “Norman’s just been to see his granny,” or, “Jo’s got a new car.” Particularly good people to peek at are cyclists, young couples and teenagers, shop assistants and dog walkers – guess the pet’s name, too. Be careful that your children are aware this is a game – this one could backfire horribly!
Granny Went To Market
This is another time-filler for walks or car journeys. Start by saying, “Granny went to market and bought a…” Then choose any item – let’s say a melon. Your child then repeats this and adds another item to the list, maybe a Russian doll. You now repeat these two items and add another, saying, “Granny went to market and bought a melon, a Russian doll and a mobile phone.” Aim for a list of 20 items.
I Spy Alphabet
‘I Spy’ is one of those games that children love to play on a long journey, but which can quickly become over-played and stale! This simple variation might make it a bit more interesting for all involved. He spies something beginning with A, then you spy something beginning with B etc, moving through the alphabet to Z
You will need: containers to collect the fruit in, a saucepan, sugar, an apron and a sieve
Another way to brighten up a stroll is to spend part of it collecting the best of the season’s fruit growing in the hedgerow. This will depend on where the reader is located – the following idea is based on picking blackberries (raspberries will do also). Collect a tubful, eating one or two ripe ones as you go. It may be an idea to take along a plastic bottle of water to use to rinse the berries before eating! When you get home, give them a good wash, tip into a saucepan with a little sugar and simmer gently for a few minutes. Cover any precious clothes with an apron and burn off more of your child’s energy pushing the blackberries through a sieve. You’ll be left with a delicious, thick syrup that looks rather like congealed blood and tastes fantastic poured over ice-cream.
A helpful tip for enticing your children outside for a walk… Firstly, under no circumstances mention the words, “Go for a walk.” Instead, take a little time beforehand to go on a solitary reconnaissance mission to find a few items en route that will hit their interest buttons. All you need to then do is simply ask who fancies seeing a decomposing rabbit, a fox-hole, etc. Fingers crossed, they’ll jump at the chance. Second, select a tree on the walk with a perfect-sized hole in its bark where wrapped sweets can regularly be stashed and discovered. Walks just got a whole lot more interesting!
Ivana Katz of Kids Universe shows you fun things to do with kids whether it’s rain, hail or shine. Your next adventure is only a click away at www.kidsuniverse.com.au. And don’t forget to download your FREE copy of “Fun Activities for Kids – Free Ways to Keep Kids Happy”