Walking - what is normal?

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by Fran27, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. Fran27

    Fran27 Well-Known Member

    I love walking and hiking. We've tried to do it with the kids... but they just whine the whole time and it basically sucks. Yet I know some people who walk 3 miles with their kids all the time (who are 3 to 6) and have no problem whatsoever... Another one even ran a 5k with her 6yo twins! What gives? Heck just walking the 0.7 mile to school is a drag at times... It's so irritating and makes it very hard to keep our family active on week ends etc.
    Can you walk with your kids? When did they start to enjoy it?
  2. lharrison1

    lharrison1 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    It just depends on the day for us...somedays they do great and its fun and others all they do is complain.  They CAN do it and we live an active lifestyle so we tell them to get used to it and get over it.  ;)
  3. weegus

    weegus Well-Known Member

    My kids can definitely be whiny with walks.  Something that helps is giving each of them a brown lunch bag for collecting treasures they find while hiking (Rule #1:  nothing that is alive goes in the bag!!).  Looking for stuff seems to hold their interest enough that they don't whine as much.  Nothing more than 1 mile for us, though.
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  4. Babies4Susan

    Babies4Susan Well-Known Member

    One of my DDs is gung ho for a long walk or hike.  The other one, it would depend on the day.  We biked around Mackinac Island last week and I got a pull behind bike for my potential whiner because I did not want to deal with it (and get my DH annoyed).  My other DD biked around the entire island on her own.
  5. mama_dragon

    mama_dragon Well-Known Member

    We've been hiking since they could walk.  I was the crazy twin parent who rarely used a stroller after they started walking.  We did 4 miles just today.  I doubt they even noticed.  Granted that 4 miles took us almost 4 hours.  We stopped for tree climbing, came across some fantastic evergreens for playing "secret hide out", waded in the creek, hunted for frogs, snakes, caterpillers etc.  So while we "hike" we play along the way.  I take a TON of snacks.  A variety of fruit, crackers, cheese, occasionally juice (the only time they get juice), water. 
    And it doesn't have to be hiking in the woods to help build up the legs for walking...  for example we might have a playground hop day.  We live near a bike path and along the path are about 5 playgrounds within about 4 miles.  We pack up the bag see how many we can make it to.  It gives them a goal and play time.  There are also trees along the way for them to climb.   We go on penny walks around the neighborhood.  You toss the penny at each corner.  Heads left and tails right. 
    When we are out hiking in the woods I have a map and have them help navigate.  I let them pick the trails.  If they do get tired or whine we take a snack break or I just distract them.  I didn't really have any interest in bird watching but I know a heck of a lot of birds now.  So do they.  They love looking for different birds and walking super quiet to hear them singing.   I've even gotten better at identifying trees. We try to spy animals.  Bugs whatever to keep their minds off the walking.  I also make up stories to tell or we sing (as long as there is no one nearby).  You can also create a scavenger hunt and a prize at the end. 
    Zoos, Arboretums, Botanical Gardens.  All good places to go to work on building endurance with things to look at and easy walking paths and might help ease into nature hikes.   Often Arboretums and gardens may have different events during the year to capture a child's interest a bit more.  Our Arboreum has different contests involving art.  Believe it or not my two love to vote on their favorite art works (paintings, painted chairs, bird houses etc.).  We get ballots and spend the time hunting down the different art works placed around the Arboretum.  Some places have discounted days or free days.  You might check with any local nature centers near you to see what programs they offer.  Some have family hikes that are free with a guide.   
    Not sure if this helps or not.   But at least you are trying to get them out!! 
    Edit:  I didn't even answer your actual question sorry.  I don't know what is normal.  And don't think my two don't get pretty whiny sometimes because they do.  I just know about how long they can go and try to time things so we miss the whine fest or we are at least heading to the car/home when it hits.  Healthy snacks are also a big help with whines and so is water.  Even mild dehydration while walking can make kiddos extra tired and whiny.
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  6. Leighann

    Leighann Well-Known Member

    Mine can run outside for hours non-stop, but on certain trips to go hiking its like we are torturing them! We did a charity walk that was about 2 miles and the last mile they whined non stop. They were bored so the next year we made it more fun for them. Like others have suggested, we make it fun for them by having them do a nature scavenger hunt, bring snacks, take breaks, etc.
  7. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Yes, I would do stuff that makes it more fun for them.  Bring snacks, do a scavenger hunt, play I Spy as you walk.  The kids and I take walks daily, we probably do about 1.5 miles.  Mine are used to it, so most of the time long walks don't bother them but some days, they are just are not down for it.  I could not tell you what's normal.  I have friend who does walks a couple times a week with her kids and the youngest two go in a stroller (they are 6 and 3) because she doesn't want to hear them complain.  
  8. LMW1015

    LMW1015 Well-Known Member

    We walk around our neighborhood most days and the kids ride their bikes or scooters while I walk.  It's about 2 miles and there are exercise stations every few tenths of a mile that they love to stop to play at (and lets me catch up LOL). 
  9. FGMH

    FGMH Well-Known Member

    We walk to and from pre-school every day which is about a mile one way, so they are used to walking. We started walking with them early on because I walk almost everywhere - I hate using the car to run errands and we live reasonably close to shops, libraries, church etc. That is our life style and they do pretty well with it.
    When we go on longer walks or hikes we try to make it fun for them like PPs suggested.
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