For very young children their home is the world – their neighborhood the universe. So while mom enjoys a nice walk down the street, children are exploring outer-space! Since a walk is already a great adventure, the activities listed below are just the icing on the cake.
Walking with Kids
1. Adventures Tell a Story
Great adventures tell a great story. Before we leave our house I ask, “Who shall we be today?” My girls eagerly call out names and stories that they want to make-believe.
One day we might play Swiss Family Robinson. Then as we step out our front door we see pirates and have to run and hide. Then we climb trees and build a (pretend) tree house. Of course, we capture the tiger, but then we train him to be our friend and then there are those silly monkeys who keep stealing our food. As nap time approaches, we are rescued and sail back home. What an adventure! And right here, in our own neighborhood!
2. (As-You-Go) Treasure Hunt
I haven’t decided if this is totally honest or not, so you will have to decide for yourself. I love my (As-You-
Go) Treasure Hunts though because, unlike a traditional treasure hunt, they require zero prep-work – not even a map, not even treasure! Instead of following a map, I create the map and clues in my head as we go.
For example, I simply look down the street and let’s say that I see a bush with purple flowers. “The next clue,” I say, “is a big bush with purple flowers all over it.” Moments later, my girls are screaming with excitement, “There it is! We found it!” and off the charge to the check point. In this manner, I pick my clues (or checkpoints) along the way and magically they always take us to a small park at the end of my street.
When we arrive, I quickly pick the treasure. If I can’t think of anything else, we search for a “magic wand.” This is my fail-safe because parks are always loaded with “magic wands” (sticks). “Hurry, hurry, before the pirates come back,” I warn. That’s enough to send them racing away, frantically searching. They return with armloads of sticks, but they are never the right ones. “No, no. The magic wand is longer, but not that long and much thinner.” I explain. Luckily, we always find our treasure just in time for nap!
3. Bag it
What’s your favorite thing to do when walking with your kids?
This post is part of the Spring Learning and Play Series from Teach Beside Me. Do you have a Spring Themed Post? Link it up below!
I love this post! I also love the adorable photo that goes with it… what a gorgeous baby!
Violet and I are known to take great nature walks and similar to your bag idea we have a special basket that we like to bring for V to put in all of the “treasures” she finds along the way. I’ve decided after reading this though, that our walks are much too serious and are definitely going to need some sprucing up… Treasure hunts, what a great idea! I love the fact that you can make up the clues as you go along, so I don’t have to prepare anything before we go, and it’s such a neat way to discover, (both for her and me,) things we might not have paid much attention to in our neighborhood. She’s going to love it.
You guys play Swiss Family Robinson?!! You are so awesome!
Precious Leigh says
Thanks for these wonderful ideas. Yesterday was our first day walking and it was hard for me to keep my twins attention focused as I tried to get in some exercising. There are a number of good ideas here that I can use on today’s walk 🙂
Erin - The Usual Mayhem says
What a wonderful way to make the walk more exciting! We used to go on similar adventures when I was a kid, finding ways around “the troll’s bridge” and other made-up-on-the-spot challenges, and I still remember then as some of the best times of my life. I LOVE this post.
Thanks for llinking up at the Outdoor Play Party – hope to see you again next time!
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What wonderful ideas! Sounds like you have a lot of fun on your walks.
We live in the city, where we can walk to church, the library, a lot of stores, and public transit, in addition to parks–so walking has been a big part of my son’s life since he was a baby riding in a sling, and in his second year he gradually began walking on his own feet. We turned one of the least-pleasant things about our neighborhood into fun with this simple counting game. Sometimes we’ve looked for things of a certain color, looked for things that start with each letter of the alphabet in order, or counted flowers (in early spring–now there are too many to count!).
When my son was beginning first grade, on the way to school he wanted me to tell stories of when I was in first grade, which led to my teaching him the song, “This Is the Day that the Lord Has Made”. He loves it, and it is now our tradition to sing that song every day on the way to school or whenever we first leave our house. It starts our day off right!
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Deceptively Educational says
Sticks=magic wands: I love it! Thanks for inspiring people to take walks with their kids and make them SO fun. I’m glad you linked up to the After School Linky Party!
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