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 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.