So you’ve resolved to become more active this year, but you have those pesky kids to take care of. Trying to find time to exercise with your kids around can be tricky. I know. I gave up following along my favorite yoga DVD ever since my downward facing dog pose became an invitation for my toddler to climb aboard for a piggyback ride.
This winter I’m trying something new. I’m taking my little munchkin on nature walks. When it’s cold outdoors, getting motivated to bundle up and go outside can be difficult. Turning a little walk through the park, your back yard or your neighborhood into a nature scavenger hut will let you see the outdoors in a new light.
Before you head outside, print out my Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt List to take with you (totally optional). Grab a digital camera (or your cellphone), the list, and a pencil or pen. Oh, and it never hurts to wear something with lots of pockets. Or grab a basket or pail. You might want to bring a pail for your kids to carry or you end up with lots of rocks on your pocket (ask me how I know).
If you’re using the Scavenger Hunt list, put your kids in charge of it if they can read. If they’re not able to read it yet, read it aloud to them before you start so they know what to look for. There’s even a section to add your own items to the list.
As you find each item on the list, take a photo of it. Heck, if you’re using a digital camera, take as many as you want. Let each kid have a go with the camera. They might even want to collect the item in their bucket or basket.
If you prefer not to use the list, point out interesting plants, rocks, or animals you see along your walk. Maybe a red bird lands on a bush nearby. Or what are those prickly things hanging off that tree? (A gumball or sweetgum tree) Can they find a rock shaped like a face, an oval, a heart, etc? Once you ask a few questions, your kids start to notice cool nature stuff on their own.
With guided nature walks, both you and the kids have gotten some fresh air and a bit of exercise. When you’re feeling stuck or have been cooped up inside this winter, take a nature walk. Even if it’s chilly outside, taking a 15 minute walk will do wonders.