If you are going on one of our themed weekend breaks with the family this autumn and want to combine activities for the children with something educational at the same time, then we might just be able to help!
Here at Holidays for AllSeasons we have some lovely nature-based ideas for turning everyday walks into fun educational adventures, allowing the children to learn while enjoying some time in the outdoors too!
If you have children who might need a little persuasion to put the smart phones and tablets down for a while, we find that it can be really helpful to give your walk a theme to help them get on board, the added incentive of play gets them up for the occasion more often than not. We’ve got six great ideas for you to try out:
For this walk you simply need to select your ‘letter-of-the-day’. This can be any letter you want it to be. Once you know the letter, you then have to see how many objects you and everyone involved in the walk can find that begin with that letter while you’re out exploring. For the children who are slightly older, you can get them to take out a pen and pad/notebook so that they can jot down all the items they find. That way they can create a log book of everything they have found and can look back on it in future.
Five Senses Walk
This is a themed walk that you can tailor to suit you. You can pick just one sense to focus on or select several, or even all (sight, sound, taste, touch, smell). If you were to go on a Touch Walk for example, you could ask your child to close their eyes, then you place a small object, (like a rock, conker, or feather) into their hands and see if they are able describe how it feels and guess what the item is. Alternatively, you can choose several senses and ask your little walkers to discover at least one thing for each of your five senses to discover. For example, you can ask them: “What do you see?” and “What do you hear?”. Asking them to taste something can be a little tricky/risky so it’s a good idea to try some herbs or spices from a local market, for example.
This one’s a good one for autumn as there are so many pretty colours around. All you need to do is choose one colour, and then get your children to try to pick out as many things on the walk from nature that are that colour, as they can. Another option for this is to take out a paint sample colour chart with you, and have them find a match for each shade.
Another basic one that is inclusive of all age groups; just find an object and say that they need to find as many as they can while out walking, so they’ll need their eyes peeled for this one! For example, how many swans can you spot along the river, or how many different birds can you spot in 10 minutes? Or you can set out with a specific number in mind, and then try to find groupings of the given number of things.
Do a little bit of research on the area you plan to go walking, or ask a local, then set out on a walk, and give it the theme of whatever aspect of nature you are looking to discover. That way the kids can say they’ve been on a ‘flower walk’, or an ‘insect walk’ and simply see what they can come across when they are being really attentive. You can help out, of course, if you need to. You can get them to carry a jotter and a pen/pencil so that they can note down anything they do see, or draw it if it is still enough for them to do so.
Opt for a shape and just see how many the little ones can spot. You can be quite liberal with this. If you have older children with you, get them to keep an eye out for geometric shapes, like cones and cubes, for example.