Let's face it, sometimes getting the children out of the door for a walk can be a bit of an effort. Mine seem to go through a walking strike at about three and sometimes I would rather do anything else than meander up the lane, again.
So occasionally, you need a bit of inspiration. You need something that will make the children look a bit more at their surroundings, rather than hunting down the nearest puddle and splashing like mad. And you need something that you can join in with too (although splashing in puddles is highly recommended).
Here's my idea for a fun activity that my children have enjoyed over the years and that my current four-year-old just loves.You need to be slightly organised, but not much. All you'll need is a roll of wide tape, such as masking tape. Luckily for us, my husband has lots of black insulating tape lying around, which is ideal. Clear sticky tape is no good, as it doesn't seem to come wide enough rolls and nor is it sticky enough. A quick trawl in a DIY store should turn up the ideal roll.
My children love collecting twigs, leaves, stones and other assortments on our walks and usually my pockets get filled with treasures that are soon forgotten. Sometimes I remember to take a bag but that's not always to be relied upon.
But keep a roll of your special sticky tape in the car with some scissors, or easily to hand at home, and you'll always be ready to collect some natural treasures.
Before you set out, just make a band around your child's wrist using the roll, with the sticky side facing outwards and you're set. On our walks the children stick their finds onto their wrists although they often collect more than needed, and my pockets still get full, so they can carry on embellishing at home.
It's also an ideal activity for beach walks, provided your child doesn't fall in the sand. Mine are always hunting pretty stones and shells which can be artistically stuck onto their wrist. Even the older ones love doing this and if all the tape gets covered, it can look quite pretty.
The only snag is when it comes to taking the bracelet off. If they can, children can sometimes wiggle it over their wrist but if not just cut it and stick it back together later when it can be threaded on to string to make a garland. A collection of nature bracelets can act as a reminder of all your lovely walks.