Walking with kids can be a challenge
I am currently facing a new challenge since the latest arrival of our newborn son last month – how to combine my passion for walking and spend as much time as possible with my family. You see we now have two kids and although the first one has now been walking for more than a year she still needs her daddy to carry her from time to time. And for the new one, well that won’t happen for a good while yet! Let alone the kids, my wife is not really into walking – not long distance walks anyway.
Walking with kids is often difficult – but there is help at hand!
Since we have decided to have kids, I’ve been left with a dilemma. Either I leave my family and go walking on my own or go for a walk with all of them which usually doesn’t take us really far. However I don’t think it has to be like that and as ever it’s all about concession and the ability to adapt to a new situation. First of all there is gear to help. For example with baby number one we had a really good sturdy all-terrain pram. Thank god for it! That helped a lot and I can’t imagine how our lives would have been without it. After more than two years of good service, it has been used so much that’s it is completely falling apart now! OK, that was a second hand but I don’t think the family before us used it, let’s say the way we did. I must admit I am mostly responsible for its demise and rough terrain or not I was pushing the damn thing wherever my feet had taken us. Learnt a lot in this process though and started to devise local routes which were more suitable for buggies. I’ll probably put some online one day but in the meantime if you are interested to find some suitable routes you could try these websites: www.pushchairwalks.co.uk or www.walkswithbuggies.com They are both on my “to review” list of walking websites.
Walking with kids is all about making it fun and interesting
Anyway with the arrival of baby number two, we now have a new pram and we went for a tandem buggy. We are really satisfied with it even though it’s quite bulky and doesn’t steer that well but it does the job. We’ve had our first outing as a family last week and just went around town, fed the ducks at the canal and had a picnic in the park before going back home. This illustrates my second point really. Now that number one can walk well it’s about time to try to make her appreciate going for a walk. So instead of going to the park by car we took the pram and made it a fun trip. Today it’s ducks, slides and swings but tomorrow it will be spotting wild birds, rock climbing, foraging for berries, geocaching and much more. It’s all about making it interesting for them. And we have also invested in a second hand child carrier now, that’s for number two when he can hold his head up then we can all go out without a pram and finally start the process of really walking as a family!
Other resources about “Walking with Kids”
I am not the only one talking about the same subject and I found some really good tips from different people and organisations. Below is a compilation of what I found.
- From the Ramblers: a whole set of tips and advise for walking with kids and the family on the Ramblers “Get Walking, Keep Walking campaign website
- From Where2Walk: a blog post with tips about walking with children and a list of 10 walks to do with kids in the Lakes and the Dales
- From the Telegraph: great article which will tells you how to make your kids enjoy walking with you
- From the Ramblers: this article in Walk Magazine give you 20 ways (tricks) to get your children walking with you
- From Walking-Books.com: check their “Making Tracks” series. Looks really useful (see Mike’s comments below)