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Working it out - Observation
Walking to post a letter  Like this activity  
15 - 30 mins activity Suitable for Birth - 5 years

Location Outdoor

Next time you have a letter to post walk with your child to the postbox. Before you go predict what you might see along the way.

Will there be a dog today or will someone be watering their garden?

As you walk together talk about the things you notice and describe where you see them. You could count the letterboxes as you go, trying to work out what the number is and then predict what the next number will be.

Are the numbers going up or down?

As you walk use the language of direction. Are you going to go straight or will you turn left?

Materials you will need

  • Letter

Alternative tools

  • Camera
  • Clipboard

Why does this matter?

This activity develops an understanding of position and location. It supports children with listening and following directional language. Children learn to classify and sort objects by attributes such as position and location.

What does this lead to?

Children will learn that there are different ways we measure and compare objects and that size can be described by different attributes such as distance, time or quantity. They will develop an understanding that words and language can be represented through symbols. There are different ways we can move through space and understanding movement and location will help us to navigate the environment.

Language and Questions to use

  • Postbox, letterbox, posting, mail
  • Left, right
  • Corner, edge, straight
  • Maybe, possible, could, might
  • What are the chances of that happening? Will we see a dog on the way?
  • Could we go a different way?
  • What number comes next?

Useful Tips

  1. You could take a clipboard and pen - or a digital camera - to record what you see.
  2. If the postbox is a long way from your house you could drive part of the way and then walk the rest.
  3. You might also want to look at the Treasure hunt and Writing a letter or card activities.
  4. Remember to talk to your child in your home language.

More ideas

  1. Take a clipboard to record the numbers you see.
  2. Take a camera and record what you see along the way. Make a book out of the photos afterwards.
  3. Help your child make their own letter to post.

Variation by age

Birth to two year olds

  • Make a book about the walk.
  • Make a bingo card of things you see on the way and mark them off as you go.
  • See how many numbers you can count up to on the way.
  • Draw a map of the walk.

Questions to ask

  • What did you see?
  • How many letterboxes were there?
  • Where did we see the green door? 
     

Three to five year olds

  • Make a story book of what you saw on your walk.
  • Make matching cards and memory cards with the photos.
  • Write a letter to post.
  • Make a lotto game from the photos of the walk.
  • Create a treasure map of your yard and hide something for your child to find.

Questions to ask

  • Where would you find the big brown dog?
  • Which direction did we go to get to the postbox?
  • What do we need to put on the outside of the envelope?

Walking to post a letter

Skills this activity improves

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