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Take a Welcome Walk!

Nature is full of cycles and rhythms, and the more we connect kids (and ourselves) to those rhythms, the more rooted we all feel. One great and easy way to do that is to celebrate each new month—a unique chapter in the Earth's yearly story. We like to take a "Welcome Walk" to bring in each new month, and challenge ourselves to use all of our senses to discover what the world is doing as each new month begins.

This activity kicks off our August Calendar full of ways to connect with nature each day this month. If you don't have one yet, visit tinkergarten.com/calendar to get your free copy!

The Guide

All you really need to do is carve out some time for a walk. The walk can be short or long—it just takes a little extra framing to feel like a special, welcome walk. Here are some ideas:

Step 1: Start out by asking kids, "Do you know what today is?!" Take ideas, then share that it is the start of a brand new month—August! (Note: if you miss the first day, no worries...just try to do this in the first week of a new month).

Step 2: Suggest taking a "welcome walk" to welcome in the new month. As you are gearing up with whatever things you need (seasonally appropriate layers, snack, water, sunscreen, etc.), wonder what else you should bring. 

Step 3: If you like, print out a copy of Welcome, August! worksheet or just look at it with your child for inspiration (You can also download our  Welcome, September! worksheet here). Take a minute to make sure you can use some of the senses you'll see (see, hear, smell, feel and taste) ready. You can "warm kids' senses up" a bit by looking around, listening for a sound, sniffing the air and rubbing hands together. 
Step 4: Go for your walk and stop along the way to sense what the world is doing in your biome as August begins. August is an extremely special month, full of changes no matter where you live. What marvelous things are happening? What do you notice? For us, August is full of outdoor festivals, ripe tree fruit, and the start of shorebird migration.
 
Step 5: Draw or write down what you notice with your senses. Or, wait to do that together when you take a break or later, after the walk is done. You can also take pictures to remind you of the things you notice and talk later about all that you sensed or share your discoveries with family and friends who couldn't join you on your welcome walk. Share them with us, too and tag @tinkergarten, #outdoorsall4 and #WelcomeWalk. We'd love to see what you discover!

Step 6: As your walk ends, chat with kids about which of the things they noticed were their favorites. Share yours, too. 

Step 7: Before you wrap up your walk, stop for a minute to share how grateful you are for the marvelous things you noticed. "Welcome, August!"

Why is this activity great for kids?

This activity not only connects kids to the natural rhythms around them, it connects them to nature itself. The more direct contact with nature kids have, the more in love they become—and that early love turns into lifelong connection and even desire to protect their planet. This walk is also designed to help kids activate multiple senses—something that we know helps them to strengthen each sense (how they take in all information) and learn to integrate their senses (needed to focus and make sense of the information they take in). Who knew such a sweet tradition could support so much learning?! Happy August!

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