Liven up your walks with some fun and learning!
A post written and shared by Aimee at Raising the Cameron Clan.
It is no secret that there is an obesity epidemic in the United States. As parents it is important that we do our part to encourage our kids to get out there and move. Going for a walk is an easy way to get everyone moving. However, sometimes it takes a little creativity to get your kids out the door.
Here are 10 ways to have fun and learn while out on your walk.
1. Make a scavenger hunt. Write a list of things to find or for non-readers you can make a picture list of objects for them to cross off as you walk. This list can be based on colors, or certain objects or a certain numbers of objects; it just depends on where you are walking.
2. Take Pictures. My boys love to take pictures when we go on walks. You can give them an old camera, buy a disposable or help them use yours, but kids enjoy taking pictures. When you get home, you can take those pictures and make them into a simple book.
3. Nature Rubbings. A fun way to talk about nature is to do some crayon rubbings on things that are outside. A tree trunk, the sidewalk, a leaf, the drain can all be great ways to talk about the textures in the world around us.
4. Go on a bug/hunt. Take a magnifying glass and look at ants, spiders, beetles or any other bugs you see on your walk. This is a great segway into lots of other conversations like the difference between bugs and spiders. If you are really brave you can bring along a container and collect some of these bugs so that you can examine them closer when you get home. We have done this with rollie pollies.
5. Make leaf impressions. Bring a bag and collect different types of leaves. When you get home make a batch of salt dough to press your leaves into so that you are left with the leaf impression. Once the salt dough dries, you can paint your leaves and have a nature inspired piece of art.
6. Collect and Dissect. Go out and collect acorns, flowers, and leaves, then bring the home and look inside them. My boys love to bring home different size acorns and look inside them. It is a way to work on comparing objects and to see how things look on the inside.
7. Gather “treasures” for an art project. A walk is a great way to gather free art supplies. Go out and gather “treasures” then come home and let them create. It amazes me to see what my boys create.
8. Turn your walk into an obstacle course. Jump over those cracks in the sidewalk. Run a circle around the bench. Touch that tree. Run fast, STOP! These are all ways to turn a simple walk into a listening and tiring activity.
9. I spy … One of my favorite ways to keep my boys actively involved in a walk is to play the I spy game. I spy the letter S. I spy something red. I spy something yellow. The possibilities are endless.
10. What does that sign mean? As you walk past any type of sign, ask them what they think the sign might mean. This helps develop critical thinking skills as well as familiarize your kids with the world around them.
However, the most important part of any walk is to have fun!