Orienteering: Great Outdoor Activity for Children

With less children connecting with nature and getting outdoors, orienteering may be just the activity we need to turn that tide.

What is Orienteering?

Photo Credit: Pinterest

It is an activity that requires orienteers to find specific sites in the landscape using a detailed map and compass. Orienteers must visit each control site and verify their visit by collecting unique markers from each control site in the course. The route between the control sites is not specified and it is up to the orienteers to navigate their path following the clues provided.

The aim is to navigate in sequence between control points marked on a unique orienteering map and decide the best route to complete the course in the quickest time. – British Orienteering

Benefits for Children

  • Provides a safe, fun environment in which to have an adventure
  • Great outdoor activity for the whole family
  • Challenging adventure sport that provides physical and intellectual development
  • Helps develop spatial awareness
  • Combines running with decision making and adventure
  • Children are allowed the freedom to roam out of sight in a controlled environment
  • It encourages children to get muddy and dirty
  • Teaches children about the countryside
  • Children learn to read maps and navigate
  • It’s educational and fun!

Getting Started

There is an excellent introductory activity package you can download for free here:

The following video from NH State Parks also offers some basic skills you will need:


Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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