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!