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Home » Green parenting

Walking with young children

Submitted by on Friday, 17 February 2012 Loading Add to favourites  7 Comments

syenna from gently parenting twinsMid week, Kelly shared her tips for getting the whole family on board with healthy lifestyle changes, which included the recommendation of a particular book.

Today Syenna shares her goal for Heart Month – to pull on her boots and get outside with her children, every day! She shares her tips for getting reluctant children outdoors…

I was the slightly chubby girl in a sporty family, who firmly rejected every competitive sports class I was enrolled in by my optimistic parents.  Luckily for me, my brother’s talents shone brightly and they eventually fixed their sporting aspirations on him!  As time stretched in to my early teens, I found my joy and solace in walking the South Downs where we lived, where I found I could peacefully exercise body and mind.

As my own first children grew from babes in arms to toddling little people, a short walk with them became an important daily outing.  They needed to be in the open air, to let their energy flow in a positive direction and give them the chance to experience the world around them up close.  Walking with children is a brilliant healthy activity that’s free, fun, and can suit any pace.

My twins are now four, and they seem to bounce around the walls of our little cottage if they haven’t had space to run around.   Even the baby requests to go outside, pointing hopefully at the window.  I have let things slip though, and this winter has found us cocooned in the house, with unwelcome coughs and colds lingering.  My goal for February, Heart Month, is to put on those boots, get some exercise and get walking again, every day if I can!

With young children in tow, it’s not always so simple.  Here are a few tips that help us to enjoy family walks:

1.       Remember that the point of the walk does not have to be a long walk, but to spend time together outdoors with the opportunity to exercise the senses as well as your bodies.

2.       Give the children space and freedom to explore at each stop along the way, and there may well be many many stops!

3.       Collect little treasures to bring home, such as a feather or pine cone, reminding the child of their jaunt.

4.       It’s perhaps an obvious one, but suitable clothing and footwear can keep children feeling comfortable and confident.

5.       Take a walk down a familiar path, where the children can fervently retrace their steps and marvel at the seasonal metamorphosis, or try undiscovered routes for a family adventure!

6.       To help those little feet make it back home easily, try a hill walk with a fun downhill route back, a circular course, a snack break, singing or stories.

It’s a lovely time of year to be outdoors, as the spring bulbs triumphantly emerge from their slumber.  Will you join me this February, as I endeavour to be as brave as those crocuses and get the children outside again every day?

Syenna is a full time mum of 3, trying to live and parent consciously who sometimes finds time to blog about her magical and manic experiences with twins and a baby.

We’d like to thank Philips for sending us an Avance juicer and Abel and Cole for our delicious fruit and vegetable boxes so we can get ourselves fitter and healthier too!

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7 Comments »

  • Veganmummy says:

    lovely writing – my DS LOVES to go out but I’m usually the reluctant one, these tips will equally work for me though lol(note to self, must buy new walking shoes), thank you lovely!!

  • oh what memories this post stirs up..of all the things i have done in life..walking with children is the steadiest, most solid of feelings..a complete life lesson in such a short bonding experience. anywhere, anytime..at ANY age or place…
    all the tips in this post are so effective and reassuring. dandelion and sorrel will be coming up, it’s wild salad time, don’t forget your baskets..

  • Mrs Green says:

    beautifully written, thanks so much Syenna. I loved the baskets idea, my daughter, even though she wouldn’t admit it to friends, even now loves to carry a basket with her on a nature walk; there is something lovely about coming home with treasures from mother nature. And let us not forget the power of a picnic, whatever time of year ;)

  • Sarah says:

    Walking with my kids is one of my favourite things, though I have a tendancy to get lost and end up on long treks! Your post is a great reminder to keep it simple with little ones and to literally stop and smell the flowers! Lovely post.

  • Dormouse says:

    Lovely words and good advice lovely lady

  • Syenna says:

    Thanks. It was great fun to have the opportunity to write this. We have been spending lots of time outside, although haven’t managed a walk every single day this month!

  • Lovely piece. Ever since my surgery that is something that I have missed doing, getting the kids outside. They still get to, I just don’t! At least they always bring me bits of this and that. ;)