This time of year when the weather turns absolutely gorgeous overnight, all you want to do is be outside. How can you check off your to do list, cover all the concepts you want to cover, and still make sure to get in enough of that beautiful Spring Weather?
Nature walks are a perfect way to get outside, take in some fresh air, and still be learning. This is the third post in the Nature Walk Series. So far I have discusses tools you can add to help keep your kids entertained while you walk in Binoculars, Shovels, and More. I also briefly talked about how you can get more out of your nature walks.
In this post, I simply wanted to share that your nature walks don’t have to always involve learning about bugs, trees, and plants. Maybe identifying bugs and types of trees just isn’t your thing. Please don’t let that deter you from getting out with your kids and enjoying a wonderful walk.
Incorporating Letters and Numbers
Since my girls were old enough to walk on their own, we have enjoyed nature walks. Sometimes its in the woods behind our house, other times we scope out new nature trails or hike. No matter where we go, the first thing they do is find a “walking stick.” They LOVE to walk with a stick.
Now that they’ve gotten older, we’ve started using their walking sticks as pointers, pencils, and so much more.
A great way to incorporate writing into your nature walk is to have your little ones write their names, letters, or numbers in the sand or dirt. If you are working with older kids, you can have them write out sight or spelling words. You are still getting the same practice that you would with a paper and pencil but you are doing so outside.
We also love to use different elements of nature to create letters and numbers. Find pieces of tree bark and create the first letter of their name. Spell a sight word out using pebbles, sea shells, or leaves.
Kids, my girls at least, love collecting things as we walk. Acorns, rocks, leaves, pine cones, etc. you can use those fun finds to spell out their name, the day of the week, the month, or anything that you may be studying at the time.
Here are a few other fun letter/number activities for you to incorporate into your next nature walk:
- Discuss objects you see . Determine what letter they start with based on the sound. Ex. I see a leaf. Leaf starts with (make the L sound). What letter makes that sound?
- Find groups of objects and count them. Ex. How many nests do you see in those trees?
- I spy with objects in nature. Sometime a tree will fall and make a perfect L with another tree. Or maybe you’ll find a trunk with perfect O rings in the middle. Encourage your little ones to find shapes, letters, and numbers hidden IN NATURE and talk about it as you walk.
Practicing handwriting, spelling words, working on letter and number recognition are all simple things that can be done on any nature walk. The key to using these nature walks as a learning tool is discussion.
Talk as you walk!
You will be amazed at just how educational and fun a nature walk can be!
I would love to hear what fun letter and number activities you come up with on your next nature walk!