I'm a big fan of activities with kids that require no or little money, not a lot of planning, and simple implementation. It's even better when they come up with the idea themselves. "Let's go on a listening walk," said Ellis on Saturday. It turns out a listening walk is one where you walk around your neighborhood and notice the different things you can hear. My eight year old, it seems, had discovered a form of walking meditation. I was completely game for this makeshift exercise in mindfulness, movement, and sunshine.
Ellis got to be the walk leader, determining our direction. We decided that any sound counted except for our own voices and that we should try not to talk during the walk. This was harder for Charlie who chattered quite a bit, but he can grow into this activity. I added the idea that we go back and write down five things that we heard and share them with each other (guerilla academic skill building). When we got home, Ellis asked if he could draw pictures, too, in case he didn't know how to spell something. Ellis's pictures are always awesome (see above) so of course the answer was yes.