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Family Walks: Let the Kids Lead

Let kids lead the way on family walks!

I have written before about how much we enjoy after dinner walks as a family, but family walks at any time of day are a wonderful chance to slow down and enjoy time together as a family! We recently decided to let the kids lead some of our family walks, and we find that it is a wonderful opportunity to see the world through their eyes! I have learned a lot by seeing our neighborhood from a child’s perspective!

Family walks are great together time

The kids recently led me to this open field, which they had discovered while out walking with Mike. It’s very close to our house, but hidden away enough that I had never noticed it! California is in a serious drought, so the grass is completely gone, but somehow these flowers have survived.

Family walks are a wonderful chance to slow down and enjoy the moment

 

The kids enjoyed picking a few to bring home. Emma was saying that this field looks like somewhere fairies would live, and I agree – especially with the seemingly delicate flowers thriving in spite of the drought!

Leading walks is a great way to connect with kids, away from other commitments and distractions. It also provides the kind of down time that kids (and parents) need as we all get settled in with school this fall! If you’re in the mood for some quiet time, try turning it into a listening walk.

What are your favorite family time activities? We enjoy geocaching, board games (often with altered rules – go here to read about our simplified Monopoly game), reading books together, and building paper airplanes – plus many of the crafts that you find on this blog! Growing up, my family went on a lot of road trips, went camping, read books out loud, and went on walks and hikes. How do create down time with your family? I would especially love to hear how this has changed for your as your kids have grown older! My kids are young enough that they are all still always happy to spend time with us, but they have gotten more particular about activities over time. Giving them a say in how the activity goes, even when they don’t personally choose it, makes a big difference!

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

17 thoughts on “Family Walks: Let the Kids Lead”

  1. Elisa | blissful E

    My husband loves to drive, and sometimes he will let the kids take turns telling him where to turn, then see if they can navigate back home! I don’t often walk without a destination in mind, but it would be interesting to see where the kids would lead me…

  2. We do this as well! With the evening thunderstorms scaring our kids and dogs, it hasn’t been often as we’d like this summer. I wish we had a nice open field nearby.

  3. I love walks and definitely try to fit them in whatever the weather. It’s especially wonderful to do it as a family. Since we have a toddler, the only family activities we can do now is dancing, and running around the park!

  4. Great to see someone writing about giving children a chance to lead. It is so important for them to practice decision making and leadership. It also gives them confidence in their abilities. Love the post–sharing.

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