Today, let’s talk about what to do on a Nature Walk with Kids. Are you ready for this??
Tip #5. Keep it Simple
Resist the urge to over plan. Planning overly complicated or too many activities will result in more work for you and will serve only to frustrate your children.
Just get outside together, and allow them to observe and appreciate their surroundings.
If You Must…
It can be helpful and fun, especially if you’re new to nature walks, to select one simple activity or concept. Print a one-page scavenger hunt list for each child. Or choose a theme: colors, leaves, trees, flowers, insects, etc.
Check out these posts for more ideas and free printables:
- 8 Great Ideas for Fall Nature Walks
- 13 Ideas for a Spring Nature Walk
- Exploring Nature with Kids: Winter Nature Walk
Leave Them Be
Take care not to hover over the children during the nature walk. A child who has everything pointed out to him and defined in great detail will never learn to ask his own questions, have his own thoughts or make his own observations.
Our job is to expose our children to the beauty of nature. It’s fine to point out things here and there, or to pose an intelligent question or two to stimulate thinking. Try using the words I wonder to start a question. I wonder what kind of tree that is. I wonder who made these tracks. I wonder why the creek is so full today. I wonder…
But take care not to fill up all the time with your own talking! 🙂 And learn to answer the children’s questions with a question of your own, instead of providing an instant answer. Train them to look for clues and consult their guides.
As they learn the art of exploration, your children will begin to make their own connections, discoveries and conclusions. And doing it themselves, rather than simply learning second hand from a book, a teacher or mom’s observations, will make it ever so much more meaningful. They will learn and remember.
That’s all there is to it. You needn’t be a nature expert, or prepare a scientific lecture. And guess what: it’s okay if you don’t know the answers to all their questions!
Just get outside together, and let the learning begin.
What’s your favorite way to get outside with your kids?
Check out the rest of the series 5 Tips for a Successful Nature Walk with Kids:
Kathleen Henderson is the Yankee behind the Homestead, where she keeps up with Mr. Native Texan, three busy boys, a large dog, an assortment of chickens and an organic garden on three beautiful acres in Northern Virginia. Yankee Homestead is where she organizes her tips, tricks and resources for a healthy life. Favorite topics include real food recipes, gluten-free living, essential oils and home remedies, all things natural and nontoxic, plus mommy musings and homeschooling resources. Find out more on the About page