Monday, October 7, 2013

Learning on nature walks

I love that I live in a city where nature is so easily accessible.

 A few minutes drive, and you can but enjoying some glorious walking/hiking trails, the ocean, the rivers, waterfalls and many more exiting spots. 

We are even lucky enough to have lots of walking/hiking trails that provides information boards  that can be use for teachable moments.

If your kids are curious like mine, the questions will keep coming. Curiosity makes homeschooling so much more fun, and exiting.

I love  Educating is life outlook on nature walks. Here is a few wise words:

"I don't need to know everything, or even very much. Nature study can be a joint exploration with my children as we search after truth and beauty in the outdoors."

"My job is not to tell them all the facts. Rather, it is to gently lead them to observe things carefully for themselves."

 Learning together is such a great experience, and being an observant little student is a skill that we need to encourage.

 Exploring, manipulating, smelling, observing getting all senses involved in the process it far better then just learning from a book. Book learning is great, but when you can have the opportunity of doing some real hands-on learning, better take advantage of it.

Last week we went on nature walk every single day for about 2 hours each trip. Some days were easier then others, the little girls had their moments.

 Here are a few tips that can make your nature walks a bit easier

  1. Wear comfortable shoes
  2. Bring snacks (walking can create a big appetite)
  3. Bottles of water
  4. If available, bring a  map of the park or trails you are visiting. Some kids get insecure when exploring new places and being able to show them where we have been and where we are going. It also can prevent many "Mama we are LOOOOOOSSSSSTTTTTTT"
  5. A bag to collect stuff, rocks, pine-cones etc... whatever you child wants to bring along
  6. A few bandages and cleaning wipes (for those scrapes and small cuts that can happen if you are on the clumsy side!) 
  7. For those little people that can get discourage about the length of the walk, giving them something to look forward too like "we will walk until the next bit maple tree and take a rest and sit down for a snack" Treasure hunt is also a great way to keep them happy and busy. Playing a few round of "I spy" is always interesting.
  8. Camera to take pictures (for things you can collect but still want to use as a learning tool)
  9. And bringing a warm cup of coffee in a travel mug for yourself never hurt!

How about you, what are your tips to make nature walks easier on you and your children?


  1. We let them lead so we stop when they stop. We always know what caught their attention and while that may either make the walk longer..or shorter if we need to head back...I would rather sit in one place and let them focus and play (even though my adult senses tell me there is a lot more stuff to look at down the trail). Love the duck pond picture!

  2. Yes letting them lead is a great way to see what their interests are :-)

  3. My family was big on hiking when I was little--and I'd say, definitely read the signs or bring a map. One time we thought we were on a 2-3 mile trail--I was 11 and had 5 younger siblings, the youngest one was carried in a baby backpack by my turned out to be closer to 10 miles and it took us over 5 hours of hiking to get back to our car. All of us kids totally thought we were lost, and I think even my parents did at times!

  4. Your tips are spot on! My kids don't like bright sunlight, so hats and sunglasses are also a must!

    1. Thank you Maryanna, yes sunglasses and hats are a must!

  5. I think when I started I was doing walks that were too long and difficult for their age. (like here, lol: I've learned to be more sensitive to how they're feeling. Mostly I want to leave them wanting more. :)

    1. I remember that post Nelleke :-)

      I find that our walk would take about 10 to 15 minutes if I was by myself... with kids that have a fascination about touching each and every rock, leaf, pine cone on our path, we are not moving fast lol

      So we aren't getting that much of a workout, but the point of those walk isn't really to get your heart rate going but to learn (things that I have to reminds myself... I forget that I sometime think like and adult and a walk mean a walk lol)