Updated: Nov 26, 2021
Taking your child outside for daily walks and gross motor play is a vital part of their overall health and development.
Did you know that exercise from physical activity increases oxygen and blood flow to the brain? This makes it an optimal time to have your child’s full attention and interest for learning a new skill. This shared activity with a common “goal” is also a great opportunity to connect and accomplish the search together.
Use the steps below during daily walks to incorporate academic concepts such as letter recognition and pre-writing strokes (horizontal/Vertical lines, X, circles, +)
1. Use one of the free printable templates available for letter walk. Start with the letters in your child’s name to make the activity meaningful and motivating. If your child is just starting out with letters, focus on one letter at a time. Start with the first letter in their name. If your child is familiar with many of the letters already, challenge them with the full alphabet, can you find them all?
2. Attach printable to a mini clipboard (perfect size for little hands to work with) and write the letter you will be looking for, see if you can find it in your house once or twice before you head out the door, just to get the hang of the idea. “Here is the letter A. Look I found it here on this bag, let's see if we can find it on our walk today. You get to hold the clipboard!”
3. Ask some open-ended questions to promote critical thinking, “Where do you think we might see letters outside?”
4. Look for your letter on street signs, license plates, yard signs, cars etc.
5. Use tally marks to record how many times you find the letter. Or if you are using the name or alphabet printable try check marks, circles or “x” to indicate a found letter.
6. When you return home review with your child, “Wow we found so many letters today! I remember there was an 'A' on the red car, where do you remember finding a letter?”
7. Try again the next day with the same letter or set of letters. Preschool age children love repetition and mastering one task can build confidence.
Check out this YouTube video to find out additional benefit to your child and you.
Daily walks can become a fun way for learning preschool concepts, an opportunity for everyone to get some exercise, and enjoy a moment to connect!
And for more fun activities, don’t forget to check out one of these ideas to support your goals!