Family nature walks can be made more fun with observation

Keep a checklist of clouds, bugs or birds to look out for, and listen out for birdsong

Children watch a snail in the grass. Photograph: iStock

Children watch a snail in the grass. Photograph: iStock

 

Children are natural explorers and will often discover wildlife on walks in a park, along the coast or in the countryside all by themselves. But there are ways to make family walks more engaging without having to go on a guided walk. It’s all about observation. So, you could have a checklist of things to watch out for and mark off such as leaves from specified trees, different types of clouds, bugs and birds. Flowers also can be drawn by a child or identified using a wildflower guidebook or app.  

You can also encourage children to listen out for birdsong (and even try to identify the common ones with a birdsong app), feel the textures of different tree barks and smell flowering plants. If you have extra time, you could stop and observe insects close up or try to identify animal footprints in the soil.  

Finding a smooth stick on a forest walk or selecting a few favourite stones or shells on a beach to take home will keep the memories alive. 

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.