This Christmas you are sure to be heading out on long walks with your children. It’s quite possible the thought of this gives you a case of the shudders. Often, everyone from sweetest littlest children up to hormonal teenagers either throw a tantrum half way through a walk or point blank refuse to go. We’ve all been there, cajoling our children either to keep on walking, or simply to get into the spirit of it!
But there’s no doubt, a refreshing walk or three will help settle the indulgences of the season so we’ve come up with 11 ideas to make it easier to get out into the countryside this holiday.
Carry in comfort
Our lightweight child carriers are suitable for children from six months up to the age of three. You simply wear them like a rucksack and the carefully designed frame and pivoting hip belt gives your back and shoulders the support you need. Children love being up high and on a level with you, sitting in their anatomically designed seat. They get to see everything from your height instead of down low in a buggy. The carriers have handy pockets for your wipes, nappies, snacks and toys.
Toddlers seem to run on batteries. They are go, go, go and then….STOP. They just don’t want to move a step further. This is where your handy carrier comes into play. Simply pop your tired toddler in, and continue your walk. It’s likely that they will fall sound asleep with their face resting on the little pillow. Over on Insta, we get sent photos of children asleep in their carriers all the time!
Dens for days
There’s something rather magical we’ve noticed about 2020 lockdowns and dens. Children seemed to band together, invisibly, in a pact to not destroy each others’ dens! We built one way back in March which still stands. Every time we revisit, it has been embellished and improved but never knocked down. It's a charming thought.
Children of all ages will get involved in building a den together. If you have teens on board, make it a more technical exercise with these instructions. Your younger children will race about finding twigs, leaves and moss for the base, while older kids can think about structure and strength.
Go on an animal adventure
Your child can imagine they are their favourite animal when they’re wearing one of our gorgeous backpacks. LittleLife created the original animal backpack with a rein, so you can keep them safely within arm’s reach when you need. Set them free to roam when it’s safe to do so.
Our animal backpacks are so popular that we’re always coming up with new designs. Our latest, recycled kids backpack is a friendly little Stingray called Sydney. Made from recycled plastic bottles and with the cutest little face on the back panel, he’s rapidly making a splash. Our classic dinosaur bag has been updated and now Spike has joined the family. We have a colourful new turtle, a giraffe complete with tail, a winged butterfly, a furry bunny, a magical unicorn and a fearsome dragon backpack!
Find the clues
If you’re feeling really organised (or you just want to escape the house for an hour beforehand) you could hang things in the trees along your route and encourage your little ones to spot them as you go. We’re thinking candy canes, pine cones or perhaps a mini animal plushie. Just be sure to get out there before anyone else does and helps themselves!
An army marches on its stomach
Take a sturdy flask of hot chocolate and some sandwiches. These Lifeventure flasks come with cup lids so you can pour out your hot chocolate and make sure it’s cool enough for little ones to drink. You might prefer a steaming coffee or tea straight from your travel mug. Every walk is more enjoyable when there’s sustenance to keep your army nourished! Keep promising the reward and pick a comfortable spot for your rest break.
Delve deep into the imaginative store for this one and promise children that you’re going on a Gruffalo hunt. There are bound to be ‘clues’ on your route - a big dip in the mud might be a Gruffalo footprint, a tree tag becomes his house number, or perhaps an old roll of hay for his bedding.
Print out a scavenger hunt list of flora and fauna for your children to find on the walk. They’ll enjoy ticking off their finds and putting them in a treasure bag as they go. Kids naturally enjoy identifying and collecting things. This fun game encourages them to look carefully at these beautiful natural objects.
Track animal footprints
A good one after heavy rain, as muddy trails help with this! Print out some animal footprint sheets and ask you little ones to look out for them. Even dog footprints count so you’re bound to find at least one...
This top secret activity will capture the imagination of everyone in your group. It’s a treasure hunt on a huge scale. There are caches or boxes hidden all over the country, each containing a log book for you to sign, and some swappable items like toy cars or collectible erasers. Using GPS coordinates to find the rough location of the caches, you often have to solve a riddle to get to it. Leave something for the next group. But don’t let other non-geocachers (called Muggles) know what you’re up to! The location of the cache must remain a secret!
The final few steps
When the going is getting tough, and little legs just don’t want to go any further, a stone is your best friend. Kick it along and every step becomes a game. Focusing on the stone will entertain your child and might just eek out your walk till the very end.
A spoonful of sugar
Always take a small first aid kit on your longer walks. You never know when they might come in handy. We always put a small sachet of sugar in our LittleLife First Aid Kit. If your child is hurt, letting them eat the sugar is a great distraction!