Nature walks can provide a number of different things: seeing plants, wildlife, or geocaches, getting out into mother nature and just experiencing the sights and sounds. Things like that can be achieved anytime that you go on a nature walk.
But taking children can make it difficult to do any of that. Children have shorter attention spans and a lot of energy and when combined, those two things can mean a far less than enjoyable time for all. But there are things that you can do so that the children in your life can enjoy those nature walks, too.
You don’t need to be overly prepared, but having all of the essentials for the time of year and the length of the walk is important. Dress for the weather so that you don’t get too hot or too cold while walking. Close-toed shoes are a must; anything less could result in a deeply uncomfortable walk and even injury.
Make sure to bring things like snacks, water bottles, sunscreen, insect repellent and a first-aid kit (including tourniquet kits). Having these essentials on you and available will help you to be prepared for most situations and keep panic from setting in.
Let Your Child Lead
This works for a few different reasons. The first is that it lets your child feel as if they are more important to the trip. Letting them lead makes them feel older (“bigger”) and when younger kids get a chance to feel older, they will take it.
Secondly, it lets you keep an eye on your child because they are constantly in front of you. Keeping an eye on younger children is important just for the sheer amount of things that they can get into and being able to keep a watchful eye on them is imperative.
Start a Collection
A great way to get your child invested in nature walks is to begin a collection for them to keep up with. Carry bags with you so that they can collect things like bark, pine cones, sticks, leaves, small stones or rocks, seeds, or flowers each time that they traverse out into nature.
Bringing something like a magnifiying glass can allow them to see all sorts of things on the walk that will hold their attention and allow you to not have to constantly hawk over them. It’s a win-win.