Understanding the World

Making the most of the daily walk with your young children

Now that we’re all having to settle into a very different daily routine it means that we, like most grandparents, cannot spend time with our granddaughter.  So instead of describing activities that I’ve done with Daisy I’d like to share some of my ideas that Daisy’s parents are using at home with Daisy.  I hope these may inspire families at home where you might have limited resources.

Daisy’s parents regularly send us photographs of activities that they have done with Daisy; you can see them on the GrannySmithdiaryblog instagram page and on the GrannySmithdiary blog twitter page.

The Daily Walk

Part of Daisy’s family daily routine is to get out of the house for a walk, maintaining social distancing.  Daisy likes to take her scooter or her toy buggy with her on these walks and this gives her a sense of freedom and an opportunity to accelerate more than she can in their garden!

A young girl dressed in red, riding on a red scooter

On other days the family take a longer walk to the park and back.  With less traffic and aircraft noise in the background a walk to the park can become a listening walk; look back at my blog last year for more on listening walks.

Walks also provide an opportunity for children to become aware of their environment and their local area.  Make a game out of your planned walk around your immediate area.  Before setting out, decide on some features that you want your child(ren) to look for – this list can vary on different days, and will vary depending on where you live.

A few ideas –

count the trees on your walk/in your street

find a post box

look for street name signs

spot traffic signposts

count the red cars (you can decide on a different colour!)

look for houses with blue doors

find numbers on houses

look for a church

a bus stop

street lights

a garden with flowers

a gate

a park sign

and so on.

For slightly older children you could talk about the different buildings that you see on your walk.

On walks some children are happy just to count and observe while some children will enjoy making marks on paper as they ‘record’ what they have seen.  If you have your smartphone with you, your children might like to take photographs of some of the things they see.  Back home these marks, notes and photographs give you all an opportunity to talk about what you saw on your walk.

Then the next time you go out for a walk to can walk in a different direction or set off looking of different features.

Granny Smith says

For young children, knowing about their familiar local environment is part of early childhood education.  Our local environment changes through the seasons so whenever you go out for a walk together you’ll always find something to observe and talk about.

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