Taking your Preschooler on a Fall Nature Walk
Today’s guest post in our 30 days of fall blog party comes from Marissa of Motherhood Milestones. She is here to help inspire you to get outdoors and include fall and nature in your preschool curriculum no matter the climate that you live in.
I absolutely love fall! We live in the South where summers are nearly unbearable, which makes me all the more excited to see the little changes begin to take place that indicates that Fall is right around the corner!
I have always loved going on walks. The fall months are my absolutely favorite time of year to go on walks, because the weather is perfect and the changes in nature are beautiful. Now that my kids are big enough to interact and participate in a nature walk, I’m more excited than ever for the leaves to start changing!
Why should I take my preschooler on a nature walk?
Unsure whether or not a nature walk is something you would want to do with your preschooler? Here are 4 reasons why you should give it a try.
- To get out of the house and do something different.
- It’s the perfect opportunity to learn about things in nature.
- It’s a good way to get your exercise.
- Getting outside for some fresh air and sunshine helps to relieve tension and stress. I don’t know about you, but when we stay cooped up inside the house for too long, my kids start to go a little stir-crazy. Getting outside helps them to release pent up energy and helps me release stressful tension.
Okay, we’re going on a nature walk. Now what?
If you have never done anything like this before and don’t know where to start, here are a few tips:
- Do your research.
Research local areas and choose a walking trail that your preschooler can maneuver easily. We live a short drive away from a waterfall and walking trails of various lengths, so we have wonderful choices. Choices will vary depending on where you live, but state parks and local wildlife parks are a great place to start looking. Always research the area before going to ensure that the terrain isn’t too difficult and the walking trail isn’t too long for your preschooler.
- Pack plenty of water!
Even in the fall months, you need to make sure to pack enough water to stay hydrated and keep your preschooler hydrated.
- Go earlier in the day rather than later.
The best time to take your preschooler on a nature walk is before the sun gets too high in the sky, and before they get worn out from daily activities. Going before noon is ideal because they are still well rested from the night before, and it will wear them down enough to take a very good nap. 😉
Teaching your preschooler on a nature walk
The best part about taking your preschooler on a nature walk is watching them observe and learn about so many parts of nature. I thoroughly enjoy watching my daughters face light up when she sees something new, and watching the gears turn in her head as she figures things out.
The wonderful thing about preschoolers, is that most of what they learn comes naturally by just observing their surroundings. However, if you would like to encourage their learning, here are a few tips:
- Explore your senses. Ask your preschooler what they see, hear, smell, and feel.
- Point out leaves and talk about the various colors
- Encourage your preschooler to explore textures. Feel the bark on a tree, touch the grass, feel some moss. Be sure to describe the textures as your preschooler is exploring them (such as rough, soft, prickly, etc).
- Have your preschooler attempt to count whatever you choose out of the things around you. This can be anything from rocks, to trees, to leaves, or birds.
- Let your preschooler pick out a couple leaves so you can do this leaf craft with them when you return home from your walk: https://motherhoodmilestones.wordpress.com/2018/08/28/toddler-leaf-coloring-craft/
Taking your preschooler on a nature walk may not be the easiest outing you have ever attempted to take your preschooler on, but it will be so worth it! Your preschooler will love being outside to explore the world around them in a new environment.
Hello! My name is Marissa from Motherhood Milestones. I am a former preschool teacher with an Associates Degree in Elementary Education. I am currently a stay at home mom of two toddlers, taking on the adventure of homeschooling preschool as my kids learn and grow.
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Combine your nature walk with a shapes activity inspired by nature. Get your directions for this simple yet fun activity from Danielle at Bee-ing Mommy and grab your water bottle to head out the door.