Three fun ideas for family winter walks

It’s January, and after a few weeks of feasting and festivities we’re all looking for cheap and healthy ways to have fun. Us grownups might find a bracing winter river walk invigorating, but it can be hard to convince the kids that family winter walks are anything short of an ordeal!

But first, did you know that rivers are the most interesting places to visit? That’s because rivers change constantly. You’ll see built up areas from a whole different angle, and you’ll get a mix of natural and man-made paths, woodlands and open areas, and a wide range of wildlife. You can find some of our circular walks on our Ribble Life Together project website.

So, without further ado, here are three of our favourite ways to liven up your family walks and help you enjoy some quality time together in the great outdoors.

1. Pack up a picnic

A hot brew is a real treat on a family winter walk

A picnic is always a winner, and no outdoor excursion is complete without a dinner break. Whether it’s a quick butty on a bench or a full-on feast, dinner always tastes better outdoors. Your picnic can be as grand as you like, but we recommend a flask of soup to keep your little ones warm, and a lovely cuppa for the grownups. Why not play river I Spy whilst you munch on your lunch?

However, you choose to feed the engine, make sure you take all your litter home. That includes things like orange peel and apple cores too, as some foods can make wildlife and farm animals poorly if they try and eat your leftovers.

2. Engage your imagination

With a little imagination and a sprinkle of magic your walk can turn into an epic adventure. Pull on your wellies, wrap up warm, and become an outdoor explorer. Perhaps you’re The Gruffalo strolling through the woods, or Peppa Pig and George Pig splashing through the puddles, or even Bilbo Baggins wandering Middle Earth.

Kids are naturally curious and imaginative, so with a bit of encouragement they’ll soon be taking on a new role. Why not join them? It might seem silly at first, but everyone has an inner actor waiting to come out!

Either way, little ones will love trekking through fields, jumping through muddy puddles, crossing streams and rivers, tip toeing through fairy forests, or delving into woodlands.

3. Play wildlife bingo

Wildlife bingo is a great way to get the kids moving. Turning your walk into a treasure hunt keeps younger children engaged and helps them to focus on their surroundings and the wild world around them.

Associating the outdoors and exercise with family fun also lays down a foundation which you can use to encourage a love of nature and movement. As an extra treat (or, let’s face it, a bribe) a completed bingo sheet could be worth a lovely hot chocolate!

Click the image to download. If you don’t have a smart phone or a printer, jot down these ideas and look for them instead

Play wildlife bingo on our family river walk
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