From the First Family to your family, getting outdoors and taking a walk is good for you. It's a great way to commune with nature, get some fresh air, deal with whatever stressors are working through you, and just take advantage of the calming effects of nature.
Not surprisingly, the same holds true for the classroom, and it's a great way for educators to reach your students in new ways and connect them with the natural world.
There probably is "an app for that," but more importantly, there's a K-12th grade curriculum for it created by Gillian Judson. Additionally, any of these ideas might be some great tools in your parenting toolkit, spurring some great conversational focuses for your own family walk. Spounds like the perfect thing to do here as the weather turns nicer each day!
The benefits are many, as Gillian points out on her webpage:
"These walking activities can...engage the body, emotions, and imagination in ways that can increase familiarity with the local and natural contexts of school and learning; increase attention to detail, particularity and their attunement with place; connect place-based learning activities with cross-curricular goals; serve as examples for your own, place-inspired teaching ideas."
Where to start:
- Before You Start: Preparint to Use the Walking Curriculum
- Before You Start: Introducing the Curric to Students
- Post-Walking: Debriefing & Extending Learning Across the Curriculum
- Motiviations, Musings & Sources of Inspiration
Diving In: Each of the 4-parts of the curriculum features "5 Focused Walks"
- Part 1:
- Shapes Walk
- (Sur)faces Walk
- Motion Walk
- Texture: How This Place Feels
- Where is Here?
- Part 2:
- Line Walk
- Weather(ed) Walk
- History Walk
- Synethesia Walk (= humans have multi-perceptual modes working simultaneously to experience the world)
- Letter Walk: What Squiggles or Lines Fill This Place
- Part 3:
- Borders Walk
- Vertical World Walk
- Tracks, Prints, & Marks Walk
- Riddle Walk
- Searching for the Aliens Walk (= looking for Invasaive Species)
- Part 4:
- What's Underfoot Walk
- What's Overhead Walk (or Crick' Neck Walk)
- Growth Walk
- Lovely/Unlovely Walk
- The Walk(ing) Walk
Images: President Obama's Family pic from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3c/Obama_family_walks_with_First_Dog_Bo_4-14-09.jpg; Family walk pic from http://www.public-domain-image.com/free-images/people/a-family-enjoys-a-leisurely-walk.jpg; Walking Curric pic from http://gillianjudson.edublogs.org/2016/02/03/a-walking-curriculum-part-3-walking-learning-k-12/