A Natural Way to Learn - Spring Wonder Walks

The weather is getting warmer and the sun is shining brighter and it helps us all feel a little bit better each day. It’s the perfect time to get outside and take wonder walks!

A huge part of our program at Oak Learners is spending time outdoors. We explore our neighbourhood and our city each and every day, regardless of the weather. We wander up and down streets and nature trails and explore the beautiful waterfront, mere minutes from our school. Our favourite time of year for this is definitely Spring because every single day we see new changes that mark the changing season.

One of our favourite activities are “Wonder Walks”

As we walk to a park or trail, we stop at random spots and take turns asking “I wonder” questions. Sometimes someone else in the group has an idea of the answer, and sometimes we decide to “Google it”. Regardless of answers or not, it helps our students be astute observers of the world around them.

Here are five other ideas to change the way you explore your neighbourhood:

  • Alphabet Walk – find each letter of the alphabet as you walk down the street. As a challenge, find the letters in order or find objects that start with each letter instead! To keep the activity going, children can keep track of the letters in a notebook or time how long it takes to complete the alphabet challenge and see if they can beat their own time the next day.
  • Word Walk – choose one or two challenge words, or one word per person and find all of the letters to “Spell” the word as you are walking. When everyone has spelt their word, the game ends or players swap words!
  • Weird Things Walk – As you walk through the neighbourhood, look for “weird” things. I’ve told my students that “weird” in this case means “anything that doesn’t belong”. We have found some very weird things on our walks, including socks in the middle of the street, coffee cups on fence posts, couches on the sidewalk and so much more! Everytime we spot a weird thing, I challenge the students to make up a story about how that object got there! Thiis has led to some very creative story-telling! Sometimes we even take photos to use for illustrations for our stories when we get back to school.
  • Mindful Walk – On a mindful walk, it’s all about being in the present moment. Children are encouraged to take each step with purpose. To observe their surroundings and talk about everything they observe with their 5 senses. Sometimes smells are more noticeable and sometimes sounds are. Regardless of what you see, hear, smell, feel or taste, it can be a very wonderful way to take a new walk each day.
  • Number Walk – Look for objects in “sets”. Choose a number each day and see how many things in a set of that number you can find. For example, if you choose the number “3”, see how many times you see things in sets of 3, like 3 pylons at a construction site, or 3 dogs outside of a café. Alternatively, looks for sets in order of the numbers 1 to 10. First, find 1 thing, then find a pair of somethings, etc.

If you like these wonderful ways of taking a walk, you will definitely want to check out our Nature Scavenger Hunts! Sign up below for your free scavenger hunts download. Happy hunting!

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Kelly Farrell

Kelly Farrell is the Founder and Director of Oak Learners. She is dedicated to supporting learners of all ages and abilities reach their goals and love the learning journey. Kelly’s philosophy of education is based in the understanding that every child has the capacity to excel and succeed when they are given the tools and taught the skills to help them on their journey.
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