15 great reasons to walk with your children!
It’s getting colder, but as we say: there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes!
We want to keep the walking mojo up all through the autumn and winter months, so this is our (long!) list of reasons why going for a walk with children is one of the best things you can do with your time, come rain or shine!
- It’s free
Once you’ve got some wellies and waterproofs, there’s nothing stopping you! No fancy kit, no classes to pay for – just the world outside your door.
- It improves moods
Wellbeing researchers from across the world agree that being outdoors is great for our mental health and wellbeing in the long term. And getting outdoors can also be a quick fix if everyone’s getting on each others’ nerves at home.
- It’s great for your body
We all need to be active everyday, but young children especially need chance to run around and get out of breath. Racing around outside is perfect for getting exercise without realising it!
- It builds connection
How many times have you asked a loved one how their day at school or work was, only to hear a terse, “Fine”? Doing something together, walking along, noticing the surroundings, is a way to have a more natural conversation.
- It’s helpful for attention span
Exercise and being outdoors relaxes us, meaning we’re more able to focus and be alert when at school or work.
- It’s sociable
It’s much more fun and friendly to play with friends on the walk to school than be on your own in the car!
- It nurtures a love of nature
We’re more likely to love what we spend time with. Having time to stop and look at leaves, twigs, squirrels and ladybirds helps children get interested in the natural world around them.
- It encourages risk assessment
Whether it’s assessing how deep a puddle is, whether a tree is climbable or how heavy a rock is, being outdoors is a great way for children to understand and gently test their own risk boundaries.
- It encourages creativity
We’ve said before that the outdoors doesn’t come with a manual! A stick can be a tower, an elf shelter, a wand, a sword, a form of currency… Anything could happen on your walk!
- You can do it anywhere
Walking is not only free, it’s freely available! A walk around the block can get the heart pumping, the conversation started and the creativity flowing just as much as a trip to the woods. Ten minutes or two hours – it’s your call.
- It builds community
It makes sense that being outside in your community means you’ll get to know the people, buildings and events in it better than if you’re whizzing through in your car. From chatting to neighbours on the street, spotting lost cat signs or finding out about a local bake sale, you never know what might be happening in your street!
- It encourages independence
Children have so many opportunities to make decisions outside: what to stop and look at, how fast to go (this may sometimes be a contentious issue!), what to pick up. Slightly older children can also go ahead, giving them a sense of independence while you’re close at hand.
- It creates good habits
What you do regularly becomes normal. By going for a walk every day, children understand it’s normal to walk, it’s normal to be outside and it’s normal to exercise. It also means if you ever want to go for longer walks at weekends or on holidays, children are more ready to step up.
- It teaches road safety
By crossing roads and bike paths everyday, and learning from you how it’s done, children develop an understanding of what’s safe and what they need to think about.
- It’s good for the planet
If we all ditched the car and walked instead just once a week, car traffic levels would reduce by at least 10%, which would be great for air quality, fuel consumption and road congestion.
We hope that’s inspired you to get outside, even when the weather looks grotty! Why not pin this to your fridge as a reminder… and if we’ve missed any of the many great benefits of walking, comment and let us know!