Walking in a summer wonderland...

Kids are amazing.  They learn from everything we do and say, and from all of the things around us that we adults tend to take for granted.  This summer, my oldest little boy is 4, and I’m determined to see things the way he does; finding adventure and knowledge everywhere we look.

We recently moved to a new part of town, and we are blessed with walking paths in our new neighborhood.  We have been walking pretty regularly, and our nightly walks have sort of turned into a nature exploration.  Not only is he learning, but so am I!  He picks up leaves, looks at bugs, asks about the types of trees, and dogs, and everything else we see.  I’ve been coming home and looking up several things after our walk every night, just so I can answer all his questions.   This week we’ve learned about graffiti, aspen trees, and a lot about bugs.  Did you know that there are gold ladybugs?  And that they bite?  Yeah, me either!

I love this idea of using the outdoors as a living classroom.  And it’s something that I think you can do with your kids no matter what their age.  My 9 month old is learning the words “tree” and “dog” from those same walks, and I have no doubt I will hear “bug” sometime soon.  With older kids, plant a garden (what a lesson on nature and responsibility!), keep a compost pile, or visit the zoo.

After all, a parent is a child’s first and most important teacher, right?  And it does me a world of good, too, to remember the joyful feeling of learning something brand new.

Classroom, Schlassroom.  It’s summer.  Learn everywhere!