Help your child experience nature with all 5 senses with simple outdoor sensory walk ideas that will inspire both of you next time you venture outside together.
Rachel is a military wife who loves being an awesome stay at home mom with her daughter.
And this is her Member Spotlight!
Rachel admittedly struggles with being organized. And that used to result in sporadic or not at all activity time at home.
She used to spend so much time finding an activity, figuring out what she needed, going out to get what she didn’t have and then trying to put it together. So many times it was too much.
Rachel discovered The Activity Room in disbelief. She was sure it was either a scam or would be super expensive.
She was on board immediately when she realized this was for real and was totally affordable.
“My first thought when I learned about it was like, Is this for real? It must be a scam. This can’t be a real thing. This is too good. And then I was like, it’s got to be expensive. It’s definitely going to be expensive. And I look at it, and I’m like, this costs almost nothing. This is perfect. I’m in!”
Rachel had Only One Concern
She knew that The Activity Room was a large collection of activities. All designed for a variety of development and skill levels in young children.
Rachel was concerned there would be too many activities beyond her daughters abilities.
Rachel learned quickly that the activities are simple enough to try them with her daughter. And just see what her daughter can do with them. Or she can easily adapt them with the expert tips provided with each activity.
“I quickly figured out that even if it was something that was a bit advanced, we would try it anyway. And just see where she was at. And, there wasn’t any like, ‘well, you’re not doing that right.’ I just kind of let her go at it. But that was my doubt, or I guess, kind of a worry for me was that they were going to be too advanced activities.”
“They’re definitely easy to kind of change up if I need to. But like I said, for the most part, I really haven’t. Unless it was a bit much than I just kind of wing it.”
Rachel loves returning to the same activity from time to time to see how her daughter has grown in her skill and understanding.
Like with her sensory walk ideas below where each time they head out her daughter discovers more things then the last time. She is becoming even more aware of each of her 5 senses.
“I want to do activities with my daughter because I love seeing the progression in the activities that we do. Even though sometimes we end up doing the same ones if she likes one a lot. And so we do it again. It’s fun to see how it changed from the first time to the second time; creative wise, or you know, skill wise. That’s really fun to watch.”
Don’t Set High Expectations. Or Any at All.
“Don’t set your expectations too high. That’s like my number one tip.”
When embarking on an activity we all want it to go over well. But with little ones you simply can’t always predict that. But if you have no expectations going into it (other than exploring something together) then it is sure to be a win.
And it will be an activity win because they are bound to learn something and you will be making memories. Even if they are not the ones you had anticipated.
“Like I mentioned before, you don’t want to be like, ‘you’re not doing this correctly.’ That’s just gonna kill their confidence. And then they won’t want to do it, and if you tried to do it again. They’re gonna be like, ‘Yeah, right, lady, You’re crazy.’ So no expectations.”
Rachel’s sensory walk ideas she shares at the end of this post are a great activity for letting kids lead the way and having no expectations.
Rachel tries to encourage her daughter’s confidence and creativity through activity time. And she loves to let her daughter lead the activity too. “I try not to infringe too much on her creativity or like, what she wants to do.”
“I personally will clear off half of my dining room table. And I’ll set out two activities at a time. Because you know, one day, they might not be into something and the next day, they might be into it. I’ll literally just have it sitting there. And I won’t even say a word. And I’ll just let her go to it.”
For example: “I’ll have the polar bear craft set out or something. And then I’ll also have the threading thing set out. So I set out multiple activities at a time and kind of let her pick out wherever she’s going to go.”
Feeling Confident with Activities
“I feel happier, after joining. More confident. I feel like I have more ideas that are kind of just in my back pocket.”
After spending time in The Activity Room Rachel feels more confident when she embarks on an activity at home. She is organized and has things preplanned.
But she can also pull ideas out on a whim because of her experience now. And because of all the ideas she sees in the Members Only Community too. Just like the Outdoor Sensory Walk she shares with us at the end.
“It’s like I’ve had all of these activities presented to me and so now I can go off of those activities and come up with my own. Or mix them together and I’m just like, ‘Oh, this is gonna be fun. She’s gonna love to do this!’ Because I got to see from the things that Room plans out for us. What she really likes. What she thrives on. And so I feel more confident. For sure.”
Here are Rachel’s final thoughts:
Rachel shares some of her favorite parts about her membership with The Activity Room. And the comradery and inspiration in the Members Only Community too.
“My favorite part of the room is probably seeing everybody else and seeing how we’re all kind of in the same boat. People are like, help me with this, or, hey, I’ve got this great idea. Because sometimes randomly, you’ll just have this incredible idea. So you just share it with all these people who are doing the same things that you’re doing. And seeing all these other kids doing these things. You kind of get to see them grow a little bit. And you develop these mini virtual relationships with people that you end up seeing all the time. It’s really fun.”
“A huge thank you. It’s like Room is doing the absolute most. And it’s incredible. And it’s really helping me and so many other people. It’s helping my daughter. I’m really glad that this was started.”
Let’s Meet Rachel
How many kids do you have and how old are they?
1. She will be four in May.
Why do you love doing activities with your kids?
I love watching her focus on a task. I also love seeing the progression in ability as time goes on.
How long have you been in The Activity Room?
Yikes..maybe summer of 2020…?
What is your favorite activity you’ve done in The Activity Room?
Probably the pillow case race.
(Don’t miss out on Rachel’s very own Outdoor Sensory Walk Activity ideas below!)
What’s your favorite thing to do with your kids when you get a few moments?
What’s your best tip for doing activities with your kids?
Don’t have expectations on how you think an activity should play out. The kid will make it into what they need.
If you were to tell a friend about The Activity Room, what would you say to them?
Being a member of The Activity Room is like having an assistant that does all the leg work for you. You just get to show up and lay the items out for an activity that was handed to you. It’s amazing.
Share your favorite quote
Those things you learn without joy, you will forget easily. -Finnish saying.
Outdoor Sensory Walk to Experience Nature Together
Supplies Needed to do Your Own Sensory Walk
Preparation Ideas for Your Sensory Walk
There is no real preparation needed.
However, you may want to prepare your young child with a sensory test run inside. Especially if they aren’t that familiar with their senses yet.
This will help them to have an idea of what you’re asking them to do on their outdoor sensory walk.
Like, “What sounds do you hear? What does the table feel like? The couch? What colors or shapes do you see?” etc.
For older kids you may want to draw a graph on your paper or title each page of a notebook with each of the 5 senses.
Then use those categories as ideas to see how you can fill it up as you go on your sensory walk.
5 Senses Sensory Walk for Young Kids
Usually, when we go on hikes, it’s just to kind of walk around willy nilly. If we discover something exciting, we might talk about it more.
So, this was a nice change of pace.
A hike with more of a purpose!
The purpose of this sensory walk outdoor activity was helping her to get in touch with what’s going on around her. Discovering her 5 senses and experiencing the beauty all around her.
The activity started out kind of like “umm ok, mama.”
Then once she got the hang of it, she was all over the place discovering things with her senses.
She loved it!
She especially loved smelling everything on our sensory walk. It was her favorite part.
After you get home it’s a great time to talk about everything you made notes about. Encourage their memory development by talking about each of the experiences you had.
Relive the momoents.
Maybe take note of which senses you used most.
Or were there any items on your sensory walk that you were able to experience with all 5 of your senses.