Building on yesterday’s challenge, Getting Out the Door, Simone Davies from Jacaranda Montessori challenges us to take our half hour today to go for a walk and let our children walk and explore at their own pace.
(And although she says to leave the mobile phone at home, I won’t mind if you take it along with you and snap some pictures to share with me on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter — just be sure to turn notifications off so that you can stay “in the moment.”)
Day 15: Let Them Walk
Life is busy. There are lots of appointments, supermarket visits, preparing meals, working, babies and children to care for, and visiting friends and families. So it is not surprising that children spend a lot of hours in car seats, strollers/push chairs/buggies/pram, carriers, and bike seats (for those of us in the Netherlands). Not to mention the time spent seated when absorbed in screen-based activities.
Let them walk!
One of the many pleasures of being with young children is their ability to live in the present moment combined with their ability to notice small details. It makes walking with a child a s-l-o-w but very enjoyable process, even in a city.
To begin, choose a time in the day when you do not have to hurry and allow at least 30 minutes for today’s challenge.
Leave the stroller and carrier behind (along with your mobile phone so you won’t get distracted) and head out for a walk. This could be to the bus-stop to meet a working parent, to buy a newspaper at the local shops, to the local park and back, or just up and down your street.
- Let the child lead. It does not matter if you do not get further than a few doors down the road.
- Make a short walk turn into a long drawn out discovery.
- Let them stop and look at all the details that we overlook as adults — look for cracks in the pavement and plants that have grown through the concrete, you can collect autumn leaves, smell the air, splash in some puddles.
- If you have to drive or cycle or go somewhere further, you can stop one block or two away so you can walk the last bit together.
- If your child is not yet walking, make sure they can see well from your pram so they can watch the world go by.
Please remember safety: hold hands near the road, show your child how to look both ways before crossing etc.
For older children
You can certainly do this with older children too. If your children don’t naturally like walking, you can encourage them with a treasure hunt where they work together to find a list of objects. My kids always like checking later on Google Maps to see how far they walked. Or take a nature guide to discover native plants in your neighbourhood.
Any questions or comments, please let me know. And don’t forget to let us know how you go, just use the #30daystoMontessori hashtag to inspire others, or follow on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!
Simone Davies loves putting Montessori into practice. She is a qualified 0-3 Montessori teacher through the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and mother of two children who attended Montessori preschool and primary school. She is from Australia and lives in the Netherlands where she runs a Montessori playgroup for babies, toddlers and preschoolers in Amsterdam. Visit her website.