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Taking a Nature Walk With Young Children + Scavenger Hunt Printable

In my opinion, Autumn is best time of the year for enjoying nature.The crisp, cool air that you can almost taste along with the bursts of bright colors make this season enjoyable to almost anyone.One of the ways I like to experience the great outdoors is through hiking and nature walks. Below are some helpful tips for bringing your little one along.

nature walk

Tips for Walking with Toddlers & Preschoolers

  • Bring a bag. Youngsters love to pick items up and collect things. If you don’t want to end up with your hands full by the end of your walk, carry a small sack, bucket or other container for your child(ren) to fill. You can even bring several and label them for different items to teach sorting skills if you want.
  • Keep it short. Most little ones lack long attention spans, so don’t get discouraged if your walk is less than fifteen minutes. Consider planning several shorter walks instead of a single long one. If you do decide to try for a lengthy hike, break it up by stopping to rest and/or eat a snack.
  • Use your senses. Learning how to use the five senses is an important skill that toddlers need to learn. Ask questions about what your children what they see, hear, smell, etc This is a perfect opportunity to work on colors, shapes and other concepts that you are trying to teach, Also, learning to be observant in nature will make exploring more enjoyable.

Another way to make nature walks fun is to participate in a little scavenger hunt. I have created a simple printable for this very purpose. It will encourage your little ones to be more observant during the walk and also promotes counting skills.

nature walk printable image

Click here to download your free printable }

If you have several children (especially if they are a bit older), you can make it a game and see who can find everything first, Otherwise, it can be a guideline of items to look for and collect for an only child. Depending on where you are and the time of year, you may have to change some of them. For example, find two bugs instead of butterflies.

How do you encourage a love for nature with your children?

 

This post is shared with some of these link-ups.

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Comments

  1. Great post! The printable is so cute. We took a nature walk last week. The results were hilarious: http://beautifulinhistimeblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/when-little-boys-take-nature-walks/
    Aprille recently posted..Fire and marsh-ellows!My Profile

  2. Oh, I miss those nature walks with my children! Someday I will have grandchildren though, and can enjoy them again.

    However, during my back recovery time my boys would sometimes go on a walk with me (just to keep me safe I imagine, lol!). Just recently my youngest and I went for a walk. I still love being with them outdoors.

    Love this printable! I am hoping you don’t mind if I pin it. If you do, let me know and I’ll remove it. But pinning is a great way to get some great content out there, not to mention the fact that this way I won’t forget it, lol!

  3. Love this post, Jenni!

    My dad got our son a compass for his birthday this year (he’s 4) and he LOVES going for walks with his compass ;) watching the needle bounce around with his movements mesmerizes him…

    and your tip about bringing a bag—YES! :)
    Nikki recently posted..Prepared for the Journey {Jehovah Raah}My Profile

  4. Love this! We are gonna try your great printable this afternoon! Thanks for linking to Mom’s Library!
    Julie

  5. Love this idea! I think my son would, too. He loves organizing and counting everything… and I quite frequently end up carrying pocketfuls of rocks :)
    Christine recently posted..Luc-athlon 2012My Profile

    • Christine, I always secretly start throwing stuff down when my daughter isn’t looking if I don’t bring a bag… Haha! Hope you and your son have fun taking a nature walk soon.

  6. Love this!!! I’ve been meaning to start doing nature walks with my oldest but of course I’d have all three of the little ones with me too. Great tips!!!

    BTW I found you through Fellowship Fridays.

  7. Visiting from MercyINK. Love this idea. I will be taking my kids on a hunt this weekend!

  8. Before I forget (I have a habit of forgetting) to thank you for linking this post up last week. I am just so sorry for not reading this sooner. My oldest son came home :-) with a ‘friend’ and blogging STOPPED!! Then, we lost power due to the hurricane…enough excuses!!

    I loved this post!! I love your blog too…it is always a burst of fresh air. I really miss going on walks with my children. We took lots of them but not enough. We would walk down our dead end street and down through the woods to the river/creek. Then we would walk along it, play, collect samples of nature, watch the water, throw rocks and sticks in the water, fall into the water (oops), write about it and draw about what we saw. There were ducks sometimes, turtles, cray fish, and all sorts of things to find. We would come home (once the children got old enough) and work on our ‘nature notebooks.’

    I miss that river….and the walks with them.
    Judith recently posted..Strength & Grace: WholeHearted Home Wednesdays #15My Profile

    • Judith, sounds like life has been pretty exciting for you and your family! So glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you for sharing some of your nature walk memories.

  9. When the rain lets up I totally plan on doing this!!! I love your nature chart, too! It makes it so much more fun! Thank you for linking up!
    Rosilind recently posted..Pumpkins and Apples Mobile & Weekend Link-Up PartyMy Profile

  10. So cute! Thanks for linking up with GraceLaced, Jenni!

  11. Nice one, Jenni! I like the way you’re set up in G+ too. And look at all the Pins on this one…girl, you’re rockin’ it!
    Donna Perugini recently posted..Mother’s Day is Just Around the CornerMy Profile

  12. Love this Jenni! I just printed it out for next week :)
    Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger recently posted..Fellowship Fridays #52My Profile

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