Sneak in Some Exercise With a Family Nature Scavenger Hunt

Posted by Thien-Kim Lam in Blog, Things to do on Thu, Jan 5, 2012

Sweetgum Tree Balls

Sweetgum Tree

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.


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About Thien-Kim Lam

Frequently found burning the midnight oil with a mug of coffee, Thien-Kim Lam sneaks in her blogging time after her two young children are in bed. When she’s not blogging or making new friends on Twitter, she’s also a busy running her business as a . Passion Parties rep. Somewhere in between her kids, her husband, and her business she manages to squeeze in some art, some books, and long hot bubble baths. Read more about her Top Chef obsession as well as the fun food and crafts she does with her kids at Cup of Creativi-Tea. Her multicultural parenting musings, tech addiction, and work at home mom tips can be found at I'm Not the Nanny .

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