With the spring weather arriving and longer lighter days upon us, one of the simplest but nicest things you can do with your child is to go out for a walk. For adults, walking is all about the destination and getting there quickly. As a child it's a mini adventure.
I've written before about the benefits of slowing down, taking a more gentle pace and appreciating what's around you more. This post is about fun things to do on a walk with your child, using their natural tendency to be observant of their surroundings and to encourage interaction with what's around them. Here are some things we talk about and look out for on our walks around the neighbourhood that you might like to try with your toddler:
Colours: look out for anything red, such as cars, post boxes, telephone boxes. We're currently pointing out the spring blossom on the trees and saying if it's pink or white. You could call out colours of front doors, flowers, shop fronts and all kinds of other things.
Counting: my son loves to tell me how many steps there are in front of the mansion blocks in our area and preferably to run up and down each one too! Of course there are endless options for counting games: cars in a driveway/along a road, post boxes, people riding bikes, dogs that you see out for a walk.....
People: builders at work, people sitting outside for lunch, someone sweeping outside their home, other children with their parents - all of these are of great interest to my son who will often stand still and just watch them for a while and probably tell me what they are doing too. People-watching is not just for adults!
Surroundings: maybe you live near a park where you can go and dig around in the dirt or pick up sticks, sometimes we go to feed the ducks or watch the canal boats. Whatever surroundings you have nearby to home you can make use of and enjoy. Even the simplest things like walking over drain covers is big news with my two-year old, especially if they are a bit wobbly and make a noise when he walks over them!
Vehicles: having a son, vehicles are pretty exciting for him. We look out for rubbish trucks, emergency vehicles, big trucks or lorries and noisy motorbikes. Anything that makes a noise or has a flashing light on it is especially engaging :-).
Animals & birds: we passed a robin on the pavement yesterday. There are often squirrels racing up trees and sometimes cats sitting on a wall. This time of year is especially good for seeing lots of different birds and animals out enjoying the milder weather.
What do you like to enjoy and observe when you go out for a walk close to home? Do you play any games or try to incorporate anything in particular when out for a walk?