For as long as I have been teaching, I have been taking my toddler and preschool classes on short walks at least twice a week. These walks serve a few different purposes; we all get a little time outside to stretch our legs, we get to see how our community changes throughout the seasons, we practice safety rules, and I get to see the world from their perspective.
When we start our walks at the beginning of the year they are usually pretty short, just around the block to get used to the idea of walking together. By the time summer gets here we can walk pretty far, and spend entire mornings exploring. The children notice something different on every walk and we love to watch community projects, like homes being built or remodeled, and road construction projects.
Some days we leave for our walk with a clear purpose – we might be looking for numbers on houses or items of a specific color. Other days we just walk, and talk about what we did over the weekend, or count how many dogs we see.
Learning to stay together, walk in a line, and pay attention to the teacher, all while follow basic safety rules is a great lesson for young children. It helps them learn to multi-task, and be aware of their surroundings. These walks have made it possible for us to learn outside of the classroom, and take advantage of the opportunities that our community has to offer because we are able to take walking trips to places that we otherwise would not be able to visit.
I’ve put together a package of seasonal scavenger hunts that are great activities for class walks, check them out if you are interested in trying out regular walks with your class.