It’s Spring Break time already! Who’s ready for a fun, family activity? One of our favorite spring activities is a nature walk. You can spend the afternoon together exploring areas near or far. Grab your tennies, a water bottle, and your favorite people, and head outside to explore the great outdoors.
How to plan for a nature walk as a family
When planning for family outings, one of the most important things to keep in mind is your children’s ages, attention span, and stamina level. Some kids can go much longer than others. And some kids will have a lot more interest in a nature walk than others may.
If your kids haven’t been on nature walks before, you might want to start small. Start with a walk around a new park in town or check out a short path. Plan on spending maybe 15-30 minutes on the nature walk if your kiddos are both new to nature walks and younger than age 5.
If the kids are used to nature walks, park outings that don’t include playgrounds, and a bit older, you might be able to go 30-60 minutes. It’s unlikely young children will go more than an hour before they’re ready to do something else. Be prepared.
Chart your route for the nature walk
Decide if you’re going to explore a path or park nearby or go somewhere that’s a bit of a drive. If you’ve been feeling cooped up, getting out and exploring a new area can help a lot. A change of scenery can do everyone good.
Consider adding extra activities to your nature walk to make it more engaging.
Have your kids search for items of a specific color on your walk or print off a digital scavenger hunt sheet and see what they can find. Giving kids something to focus on, other than how long they’ve been walking, can help a lot.
- Count the number of birds or butterflies you find.
- See who can find the biggest rock.
- Hop from one tree to the next.
- Pick flowers to take home and arrange.
- Choose a river rock to paint at home.
You can do so many things to make the nature walk more engaging, and typically, engagement helps keep young children interested longer. Some kids will love nature walks or scavenger hunts and want to explore everything before going home, and others will be over it in 15 minutes. Try to be flexible and don’t go into it with expectations the first time. See how it goes with your kiddo and try to enjoy the time together, even if it’s not exactly what you had in mind when you set out.
Pack lots of snacks or a picnic lunch for your nature walk
Having a picnic lunch is something young kids often love. Pack an easy lunch in your backpack and take a blanket if you can spread it out, and eat lunch together as a family. You might be surprised how much the change of scenery helps all of you have a great afternoon together. Enjoy lunch, stare up at the clouds, find different shapes in the clouds or look for flowers and take in all that nature has to offer during your lunch break.
Celebrate Spring Break or just a quiet weekend together by taking a nature walk as a family.