Tuesday, October 19, 2010

365 Days with Kiddos - #14 - Take Your Curiosity for a Walk

We often walk through our day and don't really think about it. Some of us chose to walk as a means of transportation, or to get exercise, or as an activity. I wish I walked more. I live in the perfect town for walking everywhere. I have the double Chariot stoller, many sling type child carriers, a baby backpack, you name it. But, most of the time I have too much to transport to or from home and am usually running behind so I hop in the car with the kiddos. We enjoy walking and no matter what the weather we do get out ever few days for a walk, sometimes just a quick jaunt to the playground in our townhouse complex. Being in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, there is always something beautiful to see in our grand panoramic view. But, there are also always things to see that are down low, or hidden in the woods, or in a places we look everyday but take for granted.

I am the type of person who likes to take everything in. I like to look at the ground, at the sky, and everywhere in between. I try to instill these observational skills in my girls. A walk with a child can be an adventure, for many reasons, but here I am focusing on what the outdoors have to offer and on focusing on really seeing around you. Even when trying to really see, I miss things, but kids don't miss anything. They are excited by what may be old hat to us. Just the other day we watched a squirrel gathering nuts for the winter, found a giant mushroom growing next to a tree, and took the time to appreciate the berries of the Mountain Ash in front of our house. All within in two blocks and a half an hour. The highlight was noticing a pale California poppy that for some reason is still alive, bobbing away out in the open, long past the time when all of its kin have died and rotted. Quin wanted to pick it, as many children would, but since we live in a National Park, this is not allowed. She knows that but instead of reminding her of that I decided to have her think about how long we could enjoy it if she picked it, versus maybe how many more times we could enjoy seeing it if we left it alone. She decided not to pick it, and we have seen it another two times. These types of walks are not made to be educational, they just end up being that way. Kids learn just as much by experiences as they do by studying. I find one often leads to the other. So, even if you only have 10 minutes, go outside and take a leisurely walk with your kids. It might make you see those things you don't even see anymore with new eyes, eyes like those of your kids.

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