According to Government guidelines, children between the ages of 5 and 18 need around 60 minutes of physical activity a day for good health – that’s around 12-15,000 steps! Unfortunately, research suggests that one in three children in England currently achieves less than 30 minutes.

Going out for a walk is a simple and easy way to get your exercise allowance, although we know some extra incentive is often needed to get everyone out of the door!

So why not have a go at our top five walking ideas to ensure everyone has fun?

Counting steps

If you have a step counter –use it! Kids love to track how far they’ve come. Try making it into a guessing game – how many steps to a certain landmark or how many back home etc. You can even include a small prize for the winning guesses!

Vary the route

To keep your walks interesting make sure you vary your route as much as possible. Exploring somewhere new will keep it interesting for everyone and you may just get to know your neighbourhood a little better. Try letting your children choose which direction to go at each junction (just don’t get lost!) or go on a Coin Walk – heads we turn left, tails we turn right!

Bug hunting

If your children are interested in minibeasts, then take a magnifying glass and see how many creepy crawlies you can find along the way.  Bring a reference book or app with you, so they can look them up straightaway and keep their interest going. If you’re feeling brave you can always take a bug collection pot to examine them closer at home or perhaps let them take photos.The Natural History Museum has useful guides on their website or you can try their free Digital Nature Journal app.

Obstacle course

Get everyone moving faster by turning your walk into an obstacle course. Add in instructions such as ‘run and touch that tree’, ‘jump over the cracks in the pavement’ or ‘run around that bench’. This helps turn your walk into a game, improves listening skills and makes for an even more energetic activity!

Spotting walk

Turn your time outside into a spotting walk or scavenger hunt. See which flowers, trees, buildings or transport you can spot. If possible, take a tick sheet with you for each child,as they love to record their finds. There are loads of free printable versions such as this local area sheet or this nature spotting sheet. It’s also fun to get the kids involved designing their own sheets before you go!