Chris' Guide to Entertaining the Kids

Chris tells us his favourite ways to keep the kids active and happy in the outdoors.

1. Treasure hunt

“I love making a map full of bad dad drawings of trolls and witches! And coming up with clues - it's wonderful to see kids picking up on different cues and elements, and their map reading skills are quickly developed. If you get the chance, walk the route in advance and hide the clues - otherwise, you can plant them when you get there, whilst they're distracted. Make the clues scary, silly, gross and solvable. It's a great way to turn the tired kid trailing at the back into a pathfinder 500 metres ahead! You can theme the clues to their favourite books or toys, and you can also make a virtue of clearing up the clues as you go - to preserve the scenery for everyone, and avoid polluting nature."

2. Let them navigate

"If you're going for a walk, put the kids in charge of the map and compass and let them plot way-points for breaks. You can set little challenges or puzzles along the way - how many steps do you think you'll take to reach that bridge? How many minutes will it take to walk along the river bank? I like to create opportunities for them to confirm our location, or give them a diversion to accommodate - the positive reinforcement of their skills builds confidence and enjoyment, and leads the way to more interesting and challenging routes designed by them!"

3. Food!

"Chuck it all in a pack and have your meals in the outdoors, from a simple packed lunch to carrying a stove, pans and ingredients and cooking outside. Everyone helps, everyone shares the spoils, everyone sits and eats and enjoys nature, with no distractions."

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