Four Fun Ways to Get Kids Walking

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Katy Lang Tweet Us @walkarlington@walkarlington June 27, 2019

Katy Lang is the Program Director for Active Transportation. She started living car-free in Arlington in 2010 and is passionate about finding great running routes and safety for people walking and biking.

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Walking with your kids is a great way to keep everyone active and happy. We’ve got some tips to make it fun and easy.

Walking is good for the mind and the soul—and not just for adults, but for kids, too! Motivating kids to get outside and go for a walk can be challenging. So here are a few tips to get your kids moving.

Tip 1: Make it about the journey, not the destination

Kids love games, and the walk itself can be a game. For older kids, try geocaching—it’s like a treasure hunt that they can complete using GPS on a smartphone. For younger kids, try a scavenger hunt, such as our Neighborhood BINGO worksheet which asks kids to mark down what they can find as they walk. Both activities draw kids’ attention to the world around them.

Tip 2: Start a collection

As the blog Traveling with our Kids suggests, have your kiddo start a collection of leaves or pebbles that they can add to every time you walk. If you don’t want to have extra things lying around the house, start a virtual collection that you can add to every time you walk, such as keeping track of the number of dogs or red cars you see. A collection has the added benefit of being an incentive. Prompt the walk with questions like, “Can you reach the milestone of seeing your 50th dog this time?”

Tip 3: Bring a buddy

Invite people of all ages along for the fun. This can be a great way to connect with neighbors. If there aren’t any folks around to join you on your walk, bring along a favorite stuffed animal (the animal can “go on an adventure”) or a push- or pull-toy such as a toy lawn mower.

Maybe your child already has a buddy in the family dog! Walking Fido or a neighbor’s dog can be a great way to encourage independence and responsibility in an older kid.

Tip 4: Adjust your pace and be prepared

Small kiddos can’t walk as quickly as adults, and despite their seemingly-endless amounts of energy when it comes to bedtime, they may tire or get bored of a walk faster than an adult. Bring plenty of snacks and drinks, and be aware that mileage may vary—some kids can keep up with an adult, while others may only be able to do a short walk.

Go on A Walk

WalkArlington has you covered on possible routes to take with your little ones. Check out our Walkabouts for 25 family-friendly, self-guided walks around Arlington. And if the weather is too bad to walk outside, or your child needs some additional inspiration, these books are sure to motivate them.

Photo Credit:

Sam Kittner/

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