Who doesn’t love an autumnal walk? There may be a chill in the air, but if the sun is out (or trying to be out) on a bright autumnal day there’s nothing better than a stroll in the woods or
park. So wrap up warm, put your wellies on and let’s go!
Walking with children
Taking your little ones on walks can be lots of fun, but little legs can get tired quickly and this
can lead to protest! To avoid an unhappy toddler, plan ahead. Have a few fun activity ideas up
your sleeve to keep spirits high – and don’t forget to bring wellies, snacks and a change of
What to do on your autumnal walks
Many of the wildlife trusts have special activities for children. Like Gruffalo trails or treasure
hunts that keep little ones interested and on track. Find out who runs the local country parks in
your area for the latest info. Essex Wildlife Trust, for instance, runs lots of interesting sessions
for children in the school holidays and during term time. The National Trust and the RHS also
have plenty of gardens and outdoor spaces with activities going on.
But if there’s not much to do near you, or if you have your own favourite walk, you can also
devise your own fun.
Here are five ideas to get you started!
1. Collecting leaves, shells and other treasures
Autumn wouldn’t be autumn without collecting a few leaves. Not only are they beautiful this time
of year, but there are loads of crafts you can do with them afterwards. And why stop at leaves?
Look out for conkers, acorns and other interesting natural phenomena. Just be careful to warn
your children not to touch or eat berries and fungi, as obviously some varieties can be very
2. Get creative outdoors – autumnal art
Why not start a nature journal? Stick leaves and other items you’ve collected into the pages, or
draw pictures of what you can see while sitting on a log. Use your collected treasure to make
pictures and pieces of art on the ground with leaves, stones and sticks. Let your children take
photos of the things they find, or take them home and create a nature display.
3. Puddle splashing and mud squishing
Get that wet weather gear on before you leave, because if there’s a small patch of water or
mud, you can guarantee a child will want to be in it! And why not? It’s a lot of fun splashing in
puddles and squelching in mud. It’s also a great sensory activity and ideal for doing while
singing songs or playing counting games!
4. Scavenger hunts and geocaching
Nature spotting is always fun and there’s so much to look out for in a nature scavenger hunt,
with birds, plants and animals, at your fingertips. Sometimes it helps to have a target, other
times it’s nice to follow your nose and see what you discover. As mentioned above,
organisations like the National Trust often have their own activities running. But if there aren’t
any where you’re going, why not make your own kind of scavenger hunt? Create a sheet (or
better still, download one off the internet!) of things to spot and let the children tick them off the
list. It could be anything from birds, to leaf varieties or other elements of nature. The Woodland
Trust has some great suggestions on things to find in nature during different seasons. Or check
out Geocaching to see what’s hidden in your local area. It’s like one giant treasure hunt!
5. Hot treats to savour on your autumnal walk
Now this one is a favourite of mine! Enjoying a nice hot chocolate to warm you up on a cold
outdoor adventure. It doesn’t have to be hot chocolate, of course. It could be soup or whatever
your family enjoys. But whatever you like to drink, there’s something magical about sharing it
together outdoors under the trees or sky. Plus it’s a great way to replenish everyone’s energy
levels when fingers and toes start to get chilly.