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When you have a toddler, taking walks is a world of endless discovery.
I’ll be honest…sometimes I don’t enjoy it. It’s so slow when you walk with a toddler. So much saying, “No.” So much redirecting – and all in the hot sun and usually very warm weather. It’s tedious.
But it occurred to me on our last walk that much more is going on than just a bored little boy dragging his desperately tired mommy out on yet another walk. It is such a rich educational experience, especially during this rapidly developing stage of life.
Toddlers learn boundaries by staying on the sidewalk…the concept of boundaries in life, of safe places, of the right way versus the wrong way.
Toddlers learn colors when we talk about the green grass, the blue sky, the red stop sign, and the pink car.
Toddlers learn about letters and numbers thanks to several stop signs and an endless supply of mailboxes and house numbers.
Toddlers learn about animals…cats, dogs, birds, bumblebees, even the ladybug painted on one of the mailboxes in the neighborhood.
Toddlers learn about nature: it’s because of our walks that Ezra knows the difference between trees, grass, and flowers.
Toddlers learn how to avoid danger… well at their mommies try!
Toddlers learn directions, and what it means to follow them… even when he wants to go “thissway” when mommy wants to go “that way.”
Toddlers get to express ourselves in new ways… as Ezra says, “I kissy tree!”
Moms of toddlers learn patience…
We pour into these little lives and hope that all this redirecting and correcting and teaching is making a difference in my our little boys’ hearts and minds.
And so, we take walks.
We walk with our lawn mower and our Elmo and our bucket:
And all the while, we learn and grow…