Take A Hike Day is on Tuesday, November 17th. It is a day to get outside and embrace nature. Hiking is an opportunity to rebuild your connection with nature and remind you of the importance of maintaining healthy minds and bodies. Here are some ways to enjoy the time outdoors with your child and get a little learning in as well:
Ordering: Putting things in order is a skill that can be used in many aspects of life. From ordering the trees by size, or oldest to youngest, to grouping by colours, types, etc., there are endless opportunities for your child to practice this skill.
Finding Shapes: Keep a tally chart of the different shapes you find on your hike. You can make a list of the shapes you may see beforehand or point them out as you walk. With the tally chart, your child could even create a graph to show which shape appears more in nature. For older children, you could challenge them to find angles of triangles or the circumference of circles with different objects to introduce them to geometry.
Measuring: Bring a ruler and a notebook. Have your children measure twigs, flowers, insects, and rocks. They could compare and contrast or even convert their findings from centimetres to inches or metres to feet.
Read Outside: If it is warm and dry enough where you are that day, read outside with your child when you stop for a snack. Bring a blanket and cozy up under a tree together.
Scavenger Hunt: If your child is not reading yet, create a list of items with pictures to find with the name of the item underneath. For children who can read, you can create a written list of items instead. As an extension, pick a theme for your hunt. You could make one based on your five senses and leave it open to interpretation. Your child could have items such as: Find something yellow (sight), find something that snaps (sound), find something soft (touch), find something that smells good (smell), or find something you can eat (taste).
ABC Nature Book: On your hike look for something that represents each letter of the alphabet. Take a picture and use it to make your own nature book. You can print the photos or use them as a reference to draw or write about each.
The Golden Ratio: If you really want to blow your child’s mind, introduce them to the Fibonacci sequence which is also known as The Golden Ratio. Nature is surprisingly all about math and you can use this sequence to find patterns with pinecones, flowers, and even food. Here is a good website to ease you into it.
Whether you spend the day at a park, in your backyard or in a forest, make sure to get outside and embrace the day together. Comment below to share where you will be spending this Take A Hike Day!
Julie Diamond is a certified teacher in British Columbia and Ontario. She runs a teachers-only tutoring company called Teachers to Go which is currently offering online sessions. For more information, check out the website: www.teacherstogo.ca.