Nothing boosts the spirits quite like a beautiful day when it's just too nice to stay indoors. If the sun is shining, a pleasant breeze is blowing, and even your youngest child is restless to get out of the house—lace up your shoes, grab the family, and take a walk!
Walking is a low-cost yet enjoyable pastime. It's also great exercise, and each time you go on a walk you'll be modeling healthy behavior for your kids. Don't worry about boredom setting in—with a few adaptations, an ordinary walk becomes a great family activity for everyone from infants to parents. Try these ideas with your kids for exercise and fun. Older children may want to ride their bikes or rollerblade with you as you walk, or participate in the activities with younger siblings.
Try taking a coin walk. Let children take turns flipping a coin at each junction. Heads means you turn left, tails says you walk to the right. Who knows where you'll end up?
Let your toddler or preschooler put newly gained knowledge to work! Give your child a piece of colored paper. As you hike through the neighborhood, see how many objects he or she can find to match the color. On other days, give your child paper cut into a shape or circle. Help him identify doors or tires that match their shape.
Make it Festive
Add a few streamers, balloons, or plastic flowers to a trike or stroller. The extra color and movement creates an instant parade effect. This is especially great fun on birthdays or holidays such as the Fourth of July.
Jumpstart their Creativity
Bring along paper and some peeled crayons. Occasionally stop to let your child place the paper on top of the sidewalk or a tree to create a rubbing. Try to identify the objects when you get home.