When we decided to start our day with a morning walk I didn’t realize how much learning would actually take place. I agreed to it out of a need for my own exercise and an opportunity for the girls to cross-train (exercise other than dancing) by walking, running or riding their bikes. Not to mention, it was a beautiful sunny morning! No, I didn’t consider the discussion about seasons, observations of birds and even math skills that would come in to play as we walked the neighborhood.
My oldest rode her bike ahead and kept circling back. My youngest started by trying to run to keep up with her sister, but asthma wheeziness started creeping in due to a combination of spring pollen and over exertion, I guess. Instead she just walked with me….and learned.
As all kindergarteners do, we learned more about the seasons. We noticed that fall isn’t the only season to have pretty varying colors of leaves on trees. She noticed the varying shades of green on the spring leaves, as well as some pinks and yellows.
Oh, the birds! They were out in full force this beautiful spring morning causing us to enjoy some impromptu nature studies. First we heard them. We just listened to their singing. We heard one that was probably the baby and then what we assumed was it’s mother answering back. My daughter shared her thoughts that the baby was asking for breakfast and the mother was telling it she’d be right back with a worm. Then we noticed the different sounds of bird songs coming from different trees. A little farther on our walk we noticed a bright red cardinal, along with two female cardinals. As it’s always surprising for young children to learn, I told her that the prettiest cardinal is the male and the others are female. As we watched them flit and fly from branch to branch playing with each other she decided that maybe the two females were actually bickering and fighting over the handsome male cardinal. (It seems thoughts of romance starts young these days. And, no, we don’t spend our afternoon watching soap operas.)
We learned about math as we counted how long it would take her sister to get from the end of the cul-de-sac to the other end on her bike. It took 6o seconds, which we reviewed equals one minute. We continued discussing it would probably take an hour if she did it 60 times, because an hour equals 60 minutes. How many could she do in 15 minutes? About 15, of course. She didn’t realize we were having a mini math lesson.
I didn’t realize either, as we were walking and talking, all the things we were learning while putting off school work for a walk in the neighborhood. It was as we returned home and entered the driveway that it hit me what a productive morning walk we had had. She asked to stay out a little longer to play with bubbles and I obliged. Who knows what else she might discover and learn on her own while she stays outside just a little longer!