Guest Blog Post from The Ladybirds’ Adventures
As the weather starts to warm up, now is a great time to get outside exploring with kids. I’m Claire, and I write the blog The Ladybirds’ Adventures. My own children are 5 and 8 so I know that exploring with kids isn’t always easy! We spend lots of time outdoors, walking, gardening and exploring in our campervan. Over the years I’ve learnt a few tips to make exploring with kids easier.
1. Plan Ahead
Decide where you want to go and when. You’ll know the best time for your child to go out exploring. It’s no point heading out right as your little one needs a nap or a meal. Planning ahead helps you to work out when is best for you.
Planning can also mean having a bag packed ready for outings. Do you need spare nappies in it? I definitely recommend spare clothes, snacks and entertainment which we will discuss more below.
2. Find Family Friendly Places to Visit
Planning ahead also means having a list of ideas for places to go with your family. Ask your friends where their favourite local walks, parks and days out are. Perhaps there is a local Facebook group you can join to get ideas.
Make sure you think about what is important to you. Does the walk need to be pram-friendly? Do you want a play area? Café? Think about what is important to your family.
3. Dress the Kids for the Weather
There’s nothing more likely to get your kids complaining than if they are cold (or hot, but this happens far less in the UK). Layers are great as you can add or remove layers if the weather changes.
4. Pack Spare Clothes in the Car
Kids get wet and muddy all the time! We’ve been grateful to have spare clothes in the car more times than I can remember. The time my toddler fell whilst paddling in the sea or the time my eldest fell off a stepping stone, all spring to mind. A towel is also handy in these situations too.
5. Take Plenty of Snacks
Snacks are always useful when walking with kids. My kids are constantly hungry, I’m sure it’s not just mine! A drink is always helpful too. I try to keep some snacks that don’t go off in our walking bag and then add fresh bits like fruit if we remember.
6. Check the Weather
Check the weather and pack appropriately. Don’t forget sun hats and sun cream or sunny days and raincoats and wellies on rainy days.
7. Have Plenty of Ideas for Keeping Kids Entertained on Walks
It’s really helpful to have a few ideas for when your child starts to get bored. Snacks sometimes work in this situation but often you’ll need something to keep them occupied.
Scavenger hunts and collecting natural loose parts to create art with later are some of my favourites. Find lots more things to do on a walk with kids here.
I’d also recommend finding a nice children’s trail as they are perfect for keeping children entertained. Try your local National Trust or Forestry commission woodland.
8. Go with Friends if Possible
Kids always have more fun on a walk if they have company. You can enjoy some adult conversations with a friend too.
9. Lower Your Expectations
This is a big one. Don’t go on a family walk expecting your kids to walk for miles at nap time without complaining. Planning ahead is a good start, you know the best time to take your kids walking and how far they can walk. Expect your children to complain on a walk and plan for it then if they don’t complain you’ve had a great walk!
10. Enjoy the Good Outings and Forget About the Ones that Go Less Well
This one is key. Not every walk will go well but some will. Enjoy the good ones and know that there’ll be more to come. If the walk doesn’t go to plan, well tomorrow’s a new day! Remember every one has good and bad walks with kids and that’s ok.
Follow Little Muddy Boots
Also, don’t forget to check out where our local Little Muddy Boots classes are taking place if you have toddlers or pre-schoolers.