Nature walks are an essential part of our day. For my older children it gives them a chance to step away from their school work and it give us all some fresh air, much needed time outside + a big dose of Vitamin D. While we try to vary where we walk inevitably we spend a lot of time in the same areas.
To mix things up a little bit and bring some new interest to our regular walks we have started going into our nature walks with a theme! It really does help us to view the same area in different ways, it adds interest and it has also been fantastic for my toddler's (2.5 years) language development including vocabulary and comprehension. It sounds simple but it has made a big difference.
I pick the theme from our go-find-it and go-find-it-too cards (c/o Sensory Trust). It would be easy make up your own theme but I find the visuals helpful. I take the card with us and at the start of walk I tell my children what they need to look for. My older children often go ahead and kick a ball in our park area while I continue the walk with my toddler. It's lovely to see him race up to something and point it out because it's spiky or furry or dry!
Some of the themes we've used recently!
The theme almost acts as a prompt for further inquiry, for further investigation. For a toddler especially it encourages them to look at the natural environment rather than just running up the walkways and to look at the plants, the leaves, the flower much more closely than before. It's fun and it's easy!
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