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National Walking Month

National Walking Month

In May each year schools all around the world take part in National Walk to School Month to help promote walking as a form of exercise that is good for your health.

The month-long event is organised by the British Heart Foundation, which aims to encourage fun events and activities in school to raise awareness and donations for the charity.

How to Take Part in National Walking Month

Walk to School or Work - National Walking Month is a great way to leave your car at home, get outside and get fit by walking to and from school. If school or work is too far, try walking part of the way instead.  

Take the Stairs - Instead of taking the lift or elevator, take the stairs.  

Go Exploring - Explore your local area, or enjoy a day out in the countryside, beach or park. Hiking is a great way to explore while getting plenty of exercises.  

Take a Lunchtime Stroll - Take a little stroll around the school playground after lunch. This can help you be more productive for the rest of the day.  

Walk Your Pet - If you don’t have a pet, walk with someone who has one or ask if you can walk their pet for them. 

Benefits of Walking

Walking is an excellent exercise and walking regularly can keep us fit and healthy.  

It is also good for the environment. It is the most environmentally friendly way to travel. 

Walking can also make you feel more positive and ready to start the day.

What are the benefits of walking every day?

Walking is a great way to keep active and maintain a healthy lifestyle. For children, walking offers a variety of benefits and opportunities:

  • It’s fun! Children can learn about and become aware of more things in their surroundings, such as nature.
  • It's sociable. Children can enjoy time with their friends on their journey to school, and can comment on what they see, hear or smell!
  • Improves health. Walking keeps both the mind and body healthy, boosting mood and self-esteem. It’s also calming and can improve children’s concentration.
  • Promotes independence and freedom. Children can make more decisions about their journey (than they would in, say, a car), such as the route and pausing to look at things that are of interest to them. For older children, walking offers some time to themselves.
  • Fosters an interest in the natural environment and encourage them to look after and care for it.


25 things to do on a walk with kids

  1. Collect nature
  2. Make a journey stick
  3. Take an adventure pack with a few items for nature exploration in it
  4. Spot & identify birds
  5. Do some leaf and bark rubbings
  6. Play pooh sticks
  7. Balance on logs
  8. Dress up in fairy wings for a magical walk
  9. Have a scavenger hunt (get your free printable above)
  10. Play go find it
  11. Hunt for minibeasts
  12. Geocaching
  13. Play I spy (for young children, use colours “I spy something red”)
  14. Let your child be in charge of which direction you take at each junction
  15. Have a penny hike. At each junction, toss a coin and let the coin decide which way you go. Heads for left and tails for right, or vice versa
  16. Talk about nature that you can see all around you
  17. Climb a tree
  18. Splash in puddles
  19. Have a colour hunt. Find things that are green, red etc
  20. Look for animal tracks in the mud
  21. Have a sound hunt (find out more by clicking through)
  22. Take a camera and let your child take photos of anything that interests them or make it a scavenger hunt if they need more direction
  23. Create art on the ground using nature like shells, stones, sticks and leaves
  24. Play stop go. If my kids are struggling, complaining they’re bored, we play the stop go game. One person is in charge of shouting stop or go. When they say go, start walking until they shout stop.
  25. Have a picnic. Even if it is just a snack.


10 Ideas to make walking with kids more fun!


1. Play a game 

This idea is pretty similar to how you might pass time on a long car journey. Try and think of different games you can play together whilst walking along. Here are a few suggestions:

  • I spy – needs no explanation!
  • Going on a picnic – one person says an item you’d take on a picnic. The next person then repeats that item and adds a new one to the list. It carries on until someone forgets the whole list!
  • Alphabet hunt – look for the letters of the alphabet in order on road and street signs
  • Counting game – count 10 cars, 10 trees, 10 dogs…you get the idea!
  • Create a story together – each person takes it in turns to say make up a story by saying one line at a time
  • Think of an animal – the rest of your family has to guess what animal you are by asking you questions that you can only say yes or no to!
  • Ghost – a good spelling game for older kids. The challenge is to add letters to form a word but not be the one that completes the word. Start with a random letter, then each player takes turns adding new letters.

2. Make your own ‘I spy’ list   

Make up your own simple ‘I spy’ lists to take out on your walk and tick off. You can do a new list each time you go out. You can include anything from road signs to nature! We’ve listed some ideas below:

  • Tick off different types of vehicles
  • Tick off different road signs
  • Tick off numbers in sets
  • Tick off and identify different types of trees or flowers
  • Tick off a list of things you know you’ll see but your children might not have noticed…letterbox, manhole cover, bus stop, park bench etc

3. Go looking for bugs 

If you have a magnifying glass, why keep your eyes on the ground and go looking for some bugs in your street. Just remember not to touch or pick anything up. Just look at the insects if you are out in public. If you want to do some real bug hunting, and if you have a garden, then that is the safest place for a full bug hunt.


4. Take some photographs 

Letting your child take some photos can add some variety to your daily walk and they will probably love being in charge of the camera. Try writing a list before you go out of things to photograph. It’s also a good way to ‘collect’ the items on your ‘I spy’ lists.

You could set a theme for the photos you take on your walk and print them off when you get home to turn into a collage.

Of course, you also get to enjoy ‘editing’ 3 million photos from your camera/phone when you get home. 

5. Turn your walk into an obstacle course 

Ok, so it’s not going to be as fun as a trip to the park, but why not try balancing on any lines you see, not standing on the cracks or jumping over any covers in the pavements. Please engage in this activity responsibly, and remember to keep at least 2 metres apart from others not in your family at all times.


6. Play what does the sign mean? 

As a lot of us are simply walking around our local neighbourhoods at the moment there are probably plenty of road and street signs to see. Ask your child to read the signs or ask them what they think they mean.



7. Design a trail 

You could design your own trail for your children around your local streets. Decide on a simple circular route and write down basic directions and clues for them to solve. The clues can be based on street signs, road signs or shop names, even manhole covers – there are plenty of words out there when you start looking. The answer to the clue should reveal one letter and then all the answers (letters) make up an anagram your child needs to work out at the end.


8. Beat your step count

Why not try to beat your previous day’s step count…another lap around the block anyone? 

Or you could do the same walk a few times and see if you can beat your time! Might get everyone moving along to try and shave a few seconds off your personal best!


9. Map reading 

Give your child a map (either print off a map of your local area or use your phone). You can teach your child how to read the map, identify north and south, and try to navigate. Maybe you can encourage your child to plan a route or draw a map of your route before you head out.

You could also use a mapping app on your phone and show your child how to use it.

10. Complete a rainbow hunt 

See if your child can find all the colours of the rainbow in nature whilst out on your walk. Before you go, they could make their own sheet with the colours of the rainbow on with space next to each one to write down what they’ve found.

Hopefully, this one is quite easy in spring with plenty of colourful plants and trees around.