I’m finally getting around to uploading another Tot School related blog post. Today I want to share my favourite activity, a Nature Walk. I find this the easiest Tot School activity to complete and a great way for you & your toddler to get fresh air. Every walk can be a nature walk, it’s all about learning and exploring.
What is a Nature Walk?
A nature walk is the easiest activity to complete with your child. You use the time on these walks to point out objects and observe what your child is watching. Maybe the place you live has no green spaces. You can still use your walk to point out shops, people, doors, windows, the sky, a dog, a cat, a racoon whatever it may be. You don’t necessarily need to leave your home either, if you have a garden, go out there and explore.
The objective of a Nature Walk
Spending quality time with your child, discovering and exploring the world around you. Remember, to your child the majority of the sights and sounds are new and unexplored. Whilst you may know it’s a tree, a car, a stone, a river, your child won’t know the word. Stop, point and repeat the word, e.g. everytime you pass a tree you point and repeat. “Oh a tree”, It’s a tree”, “Look a tree”, “Is that a tree?”. This repetitive activity will eventually pay off and your child will start to point it out for you to say the word and one day start saying the word themselves.
My experience with this activity
We live in a built-up urban town, our home is an apartment above a commercial building. We have no garden and we reside in the centre of town.
When I started Tot School with our daughter, I made a conscious effort to go outside for walks with her. Some days I let her out of her pram to walk alongside me, most days she is sitting in her pram looking out and around at the world.
As I mentioned above, I love to go on nature walks, our town has a river and a well-maintained park to explore. I use the opportunity to point out the cars, people, trees, bikes, stones, bushes, grass, shops. Everything we pass I get Ava’s attention, point and say the name of the object. Once we get to the park I let her out of the pram to run free. She touches things, listens to sounds, interacts with people, follows dogs, throws tantrums and explores the area around her.
Some days when the weather isn’t favourable we go to the local shopping centre (mall) to explore, again I use the time to point out things to Ava. Whilst it’s not “nature” she is still learning and exploring. We try to go for a walk every day. I’ve found things are now becoming familiar to Ava so at the weekends when Daddy is off work we tend to visit new and exciting places from Mountains to Beaches, all can be viewed on my YouTube channel.
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To conclude, use the environment around you to learn and explore with your little. Every walk, stroll, visit to the garden, trip to the shops can be used as a “nature walk”. Repeating words, pointing out objects and listening to surrounding sounds will help your child’s speech development and vocabulary. As an added benefit, you are getting fresh air and exercise too.
I’d love to hear, in the comments, if you do nature walks with your child.
Until next time,