As much as I believe in the benefits of taking walks with toddlers, I admit my twin toddlers are often in the stroller.
It's just easier when walking to school for drop off and pick up to keep them in the stroller. I want time to connect with my older two since they are at school all day rather than chasing my younger two around.
Since my girls should be out of the stroller more, I create time for walks during the weekdays. We simply walk around the neighborhood or walk back and forth to the neighborhood playground.
One of the key components to an enjoyable walk with a toddler is extra time. A walk of less than a 1/4 of a mile can take as long as a half an hour.
Time gives your toddler freedom to explore, and time gives you the gift of patience to allow your toddler to express their natural curiosity.
Mine like to investigate bugs or observe the beauty of the flowers.
What may be ordinary to you is amazing to a toddler, and they need the time on walks to delight in their discoveries.
Creating boundaries is important when taking walks with toddlers. Most importantly young children need to be mindful of traffic safety rules especially moving vehicles.
My toddlers used to run into the street without a care in the world. This certainly created a lot of anxiety in me and was a safety hazard.
By taking lots of walks and reinforcing boundaries, they better understand safety guidelines.
I created boundaries by using landmarks. Since, we often walk the same routes, there are landmarks we use as stopping points. This spiky plant is one of them as are the red squares at street corners.
By creating boundaries for safety, it has given my children the freedom to run on our walks. By observing them repeatedly respecting the stopping points, I feel more confident giving them more freedom.
Now, there are times when my children's impulsiveness prevents them from honoring guidelines. At that point, we may sit down to calm our bodies. We talk about safety while walking.
Now that we have created boundaries and practiced taking many walks together, I appreciate that my toddlers now have more freedom on our walks.
Do you like to take walks with your toddlers? How do you establish boundaries to give your children freedom during walks?
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Please share how you are spending time outdoors with your children.