Toddlers and Preschoolers learn about the world through their senses. Practice your child's sense of listening on a sound focused walk.
Talk about what sounds you might hear on your walk. There are no wrong answers. Depending on your child's age they might really get this and get excited about making a list or they might not quite understand what you are asking and stare blankly. Anything between these two extremes is fine.
On Your Walk:
Walk along as usual, but stop frequently and encourage your toddler to cover their eyes. It helps if you can predict things that you might hear. Is there a train nearby? Cars driving past? Birds? Older children might be able to just close their eyes, but at least for our toddlers, actually covering their eyes helped them to focus on listening. Ask questions such as; "what can you hear?" and "does it sound loud or quiet?". Pay attention to and (if your memory is like mine) write down their words.
Engage in a dialogue about the walk. What they saw and specifically what they heard. Again, depending on their age, what they remember may vary. Remembering or being able to read back to them some of the things they mentioned can support this conversation. Follow up with more activities about sound.
*Always dress yourself and your child(ren) in weather appropriate clothing for a walk.
*Pay attention to how far you are going and turn around long before anyone gets tired. Every child is different, but for a guideline our two year olds can easily walk a half mile - so about a quarter of a mile in I typically turn us around. A mile is possible, but they are quite tired by the end.
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