A family joke in our friend’s house is, ‘see, I told you I wouldn’t like that walk’!! Sounds familiar? We have some hot prompts for you on turning walks into adventures that leave them clamouring for more. Get your boots on, let’s go… (Unless you want to stay indoors and go shopping that is…)
1. Oops, plan ahead a little. There’s a famous German saying that goes along the lines of, ‘there’s no such thing as wrong weather, only wrong clothes..’ We know a savvy parent uses 7 Ps* ( see below!!) for success planning: choosing timing, weather, clothes, provisions… Check what you need on a fossil walk.
2. That includes you!! Plan to start with breakfast or a coffee? Plan a nice picnic or lunch. Afternoon tea? End in the pub garden or BBQ on the beach. Get a beach hut for the day? Do what it takes, if it’s jam butties and crisps, enjoy!! Travel light and plan your comfort rendezvous.
3. Build the sense of adventure: let them dress up as a dinosaur, pirate.. whatever!
4. Include them in the planning – base on a story? We love ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ – here’s the inimitable Michael Rosen on Youtube. Make up your own version. We’re going on a dinosaur hunt. We’re dressed as pirates (randomly). We’re not scared… Sing it as you slosh through marshy ground and stumble over pebbles (or should we say massive lunar rocks!!) Exaggeration is the name of the game.
5. Our family enjoys fossil hunting and a firm favourite is the beautiful Jurassic Coast in Dorset – but if there aren’t any fossils near to you (check this National Trust Guide), adapt for the woods (aka jungle!), beach or countryside and travel local to you. Collecting stones, leaves or shells can work. Like native Australians, make a map stick by taking wool and tying your found trasures to a stick, which ‘tells the story’ of your day. Or send dad ahead with chalk, string, paper or clues for a treasure hunt …….. has some fun ideas!!
Jurassic Fitness, Learning and Fun:
6. Have fun with your surroundings to maximise fitness and concentration by playing games – here’s how…
7. As you’ll know only too well, children are little chemical time bombs and you plan to keep it all manageable regardless of what dad says and have some favourite snacks and drinks to hand. Here’s some ideas about dinosaur food for a picnic 🙂 Take a light blanket?
8. Let someone else take the strain – there are plenty of guided walks with people who are geared up to children learning about fossils, keeping safe and loading them with fascinating facts and skills. We’ll be blogging more about fossil locations soon but on the meantime, here’s a brief guide… Or rest for a while and let them play freely and safely within view.
9. Keep a little surprise up your sleeve. Go with friends? Buy a sneaky few fossils to plant on the beach? ‘Bump into’ Gran and Grandad? Borrow a dog? Have an ice cream? Whatever little treat it takes for tiring explorers!
10. Why bother? Because you will be getting fitter. Your kids will remember this day forever – they only remember the good bits if you play it right, even if there is the odd tumble or squabble. Your family will love each other, even if its the singing in the car going home.
They will want to go again. Job done. What are we waiting for….? Bon voyage intrepid explorers.
Main Photo Credit: www.getoutwiththekids.co.uk: Finding a dinosaur tooth!!! How Cool! This site is also a great resource for family days out.
We have lots of other ideas and suggestions for play and learning:
P.S. * (proper prior planning prevents p*$$ poor performance)