Editor’s note: This post was updated on Dec. 17, 2020.
With the cold weather and shortened days putting a halt to many forms of play, parents are always looking for ways to get their kids outside this time of the year. Here’s an idea for an activity that not only gets kids outdoors, but gets them thinking about the outdoors, too.
On the next walk you take with your kids, have them choose one of the five senses, and throughout the stroll, ask them questions about how they’re using that sense.
Here are some examples to get you started:
- Hearing: What do we hear? Is it loud or soft? Can you mimic the sound? These can be natural sounds as well as man-made ones.
- Touch: Can you touch something tall, round, or yellow? Is it rough or smooth? Is it warm or cold? What is the temperature today? Is the wind blowing?
- Sight: Play the game I Spy or ask wondering questions like “How can you see if the wind is blowing?”
- Taste: What do you think _____ tastes like? Does the air have a taste?
- Smell: What do you smell? Does this have a smell?
You can also spruce up the walk by challenging your kids to run and bring you something—say, of a certain colour or texture—as fast as they can. At home, you can start a collection of nature items your kids find outdoors and keep them in a shoebox.