Nature is full of cycles and rhythms, and the more we connect kids (and ourselves) to those rhythms, the more rooted we all feel. Even though the solar calendar most of us follow is human-made, it is a tool we can use to offer 12 fresh starts each year. And, at the start of each month, the world looks, feels, smells, sounds and even tastes really different.
That's why we've made it a habit to slow down to greet each new month—a unique chapter in the yearly story. We like to take a quick "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 Monthly Activity Calendar—full of ways to connect with nature each day in the month. If you don't have one yet, visit tinkergarten.com/calendar
to get your free copy!
All you really need to do is carve out some time for a walk—or even just walk a little slower wherever you're already going. 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:
Chat a Bit.
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! (Note: if you miss the first day, no worries...just try to do this in the first week of a new month).
Suggest a Welcome Walk.
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.
Go for your walk and stop along the way to sense what the world is doing in your biome as the new month begins. What marvelous things are happening? What do you notice?
Reflect & Share
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!
As your walk ends, chat with kids about which of the things they noticed were their favorites. Share yours, too.
Before you wrap up your walk, stop for a minute to share how grateful you are for the marvelous things you noticed. "Welcome, July!"