The changing of seasons is a wonderful time to enjoy the outdoors with your children. Opportunities to educate, excite and encourage creativity are everywhere. Fall is approaching,leaves will be changing colors and the temperatures will be less humid and much cooler.
Want a fun way to enjoy this time of the year?Grab the kids and explore with a Theme Walk. Sara Bobby at Playfullearning.net offers some great ways to make the outdoors an exciting classroom. Books, characters and your child's favorite color can make for countless Themed Walk adventures. Here are a few ideas Sara shared in her post "Theme Walks to Explore with Children".
Five Senses Walk: You can pick just one sense to focus on; On a Touch Walk, for example, you might ask your child to close her eyes, then place a small object, (like a rock, pine cone, etc.) into her hands and see if she can describe how it feels and guess what it is. Or you can set out on your walk to discover at least one thing for each of your five senses to discover. “What do you hear?” and “What do you see?” are easy ones, but sometimes trying to find something to taste can be challenging.
Color Walk: Pick one color, and try to spot as many items of that color as you can. If you have a digital camera that your child can use, it can be fun to let them take pictures of all the yellow things, or green things, or whatever color you’ve chosen. You could also bring along paint sample cards, with different shades of the same color, and try to find a match for each shade.
Shape Walk: Pick a shape and see how many you can spot. Some shapes are easy (rectangles are usually abundant); others are surprisingly tricky. With older children you might look for geometric shapes, like cubes or cones. Again, letting you child take along a digital camera to capture the shapes can be fun. Read any of Tana Hoban’s books about shapes (like Shapes, Shapes, Shapes or Cubes, Cones, Cylinders, & Spheres) to get inspired for your shape walk.
Counting Walk: Just find groups of objects and start counting. How many bees are in this clover patch? How many dogs live on this street? Or set out with a specific number in mind, say five, and then try to find groupings of five things. Check out How Many Snails?, a counting book about all the things the narrator counts as he walks.
ABC Walk: Choose your letter-of-the-day and see how many objects you can find that start with that letter. If your child is older, have him bring along a notebook and pencil to write down all the words you find. Perhaps when you get home, you could write your own walk story, as Ann Jonas does in Watch William Walk.
The themes are endless and can be customized to accommodate the strengths and limitations of your child. So grab your jacket, open the doors and immerse your family into the wonderful season of fall.
* Excerpts were used from playfullearning.net