Tag Archive for: walking

Lancashire's Walk & Talk Scheme – Boosting Children's Communication & Language

Today we explore what the Walk & Talk scheme is all about, its aims, the benefits to children, and how families can get involved.Lancashire’s Walk & Talk Initiative is a scheme that’s wholeheartedly supported by the childcare practitioners at Little Acorns Nursery in Padiham. We encourage all Lancashire parents to take part too. It’s an initiative that is incredibly simple but has far-reaching benefits for children in their early years. Let’s take a look today at what Walk & Talk is all about, what its aims are, the benefits to children, and how families can get involved.

What is the Walk & Talk Scheme & Where Did it Come From?

As this explanatory video explains, going walking and talking helps children hone attention, listening, communication and language skills.The Walk & Talk scheme is an initiative started by Lancashire County Council back in September 2022. The idea is simply to encourage families to get outdoors and, while doing so, to communicate with each other whilst they walk so that children can improve a variety of skills. As their explanatory video explains, going for a walk helps children hone attention skills, listening skills and, when proactively conversed with, communication and language skills too.

Key Aims of the Scheme

Key aims of the Walk & Talk Initiative include:

  • The Walk & Talk scheme can reduce the 'word gap' by helping children learn new words and widen vocabulary.a reduction in the ‘word gap’ — helping children learn new words and widen vocabulary;
  • supporting parents with ideas for deeper interactions with their children;
  • encouraging adults to talk with children more during everyday activities;
  • garnering a deeper sense of curiosity in children;
  • encouraging conversational skills in children, for example, knowing how to take turns when discussing things;
  • getting children outdoors more often — it’s great for their well-being.

The Walk & Talk Scheme

There are so many beautiful places in Lancashire where families can explore. While doing so, they can both walk and talk with little ones to promote the importance and benefits of communication.

“Our Walk & Talk initiative aims to get families outside and promote the importance of communication.” (Lancashire District Council)

The Walk & Talk scheme also aims to encourage children to use a variety of senses.The scheme also aims to encourage children to use a variety of senses. These include, for example, sight, smell, touch, taste, hearing and, of course, active listening. When out on walks there are so many different things for children’s senses to be stimulated by and each lends itself to a conversation. Whether it’s the sound of birdsong, the feeling of the wind on their faces, the smell of freshly-cut grass on the breeze, the noise of traffic, the dazzlingly beautiful colours of blossom, or the mouth-watering smell of food cooking around the neighbourhood or town, walking is indeed a feast for the senses.

The secret, of course, is for adults to discuss such things with the children and that’s all a part of what the Walk & Talk initiative is all about. So, whether you’re at the beach, in a shop, at the park, in the garden, or out in the street with a child, take every opportunity to ask them to describe what they see, hear, feel, touch and, when appropriate, taste. Feed back to them too, to expand the conversation.

Get Involved

“Let’s make walking and talking a priority.” (Lancashire District Council)

Walk & Talk Examples

Stuck for ideas of what to talk about as you walk with your child, or do you need some examples to get you started? No problem. Here are a few ideas to give you a flavour of the type of conversations you can start with your little one.

Walk & Talk activity ideas for when you're walking along streets, in town, or travelling on roads with your child.When you’re walking along streets, in town, or travelling on roads with your child, ask them to spot and name any numbers on signs, road signs, number plates, or buses. Ask them how many wheels the bus or lorry has. What noise do the cars make when they pull off from the traffic lights? What does a red traffic light mean? How about a green one? Have they noticed the difference between the sound of an electric car compared to a petrol or diesel one?

Activity ideas for walking and talking with your child in the park.If you’re at the park with your child, get them to notice things around them and point them out to you. Examples might include flowers, dogs going for a walk, ducks on the lake, birds, bees, and different types of leaves. Discuss them. Perhaps even encourage your child(ren) to make up a poem about what they see or hear.

Walk & Talk activity ideas for when you're in the garden with your child.Similarly, you can instigate a conversation with them about the flora and fauna in a garden. Can they spot and describe a butterfly? What is the butterfly doing? What is a bee doing and why are they important? (Click the thumbnail images for more ideas).

Conversation ideas for when you're at the shops with your child.At the local shops, you might ask your little one what they can hear, for example background music, the babble of chattering people, tills being used to scan items, and so on. How many bananas do we need this week? Can you fetch them for me, please? Let’s discuss what’s left on the shopping list. And can they smell the lovely scent of food cooking in the bakery section?

Tips for Successful Communication with Your Child

  1. Get their attention, for example, by saying their name or by pointing out something interesting during the walk.
  2. Try getting down to their level. There, you can communicate face to face whilst ensuring they’re actively engaging with you and looking at or listening to things you’re pointing out to them.
  3. Ensure they know you’re listening and responding to them too, for example, through what you say, nodding, keeping good eye contact, not interrupting, avoiding finishing sentences for them, and so on.
  4. Allow your child(ren) proper time to respond to something you’ve pointed out or asked them about. While their language skills and knowledge are still developing, they’ll need more time to respond than an adult might.
  5. When appropriate, add extra verbal detail for them to build on their language, knowledge and understanding of conversations.
  6. If your child expresses an interest in something, ensure you follow that interest and explore it further with them. When they’re already interested, you are pushing at an open door.
  7. Say, “well done” to them and give them praise when they do well, for example, when they learn a new word, phrase, or fact.
  8. Don’t forget that communication is not just verbal and children will therefore need to take your lead in the way you also use facial expressions and body language to convey some types of communication.
  9. Remember too that every activity is an opportunity for talking, communication, and learning.
  10. Make it fun! When you make walking and talking with your child fun, they’re more likely to enjoy and learn from it.

A High-Quality Early Years Education at Little Acorns Nursery, Padiham

Little Acorns Nursery & Preschool is in Padiham, Lancashire, near Hapton, Rose Grove, Burnley, Altham, Huncoat, Read, Simonstone, Sabden, Higham and Wood End. Fostering good communication and language skills is, of course, all part of the wonderful early years education that children under five gain at Little Acorns Nursery in Padiham, Lancashire. Indeed, we nurture all aspects of the learning and development of all our babies, toddlers and preschoolers; we bring out the very best in them to ensure they have all the tools to thrive and succeed in every way possible. So, if you are looking for the best nursery for your child in Padiham or live nearby in Hapton, Rose Grove, Burnley, Altham, Huncoat, Read, Simonstone, Sabden, Higham or Wood End, contact us to explore a possible place for your child at our exceptional nursery and preschool. We’ll be happy to answer any questions, show you and your little one around, or register your child for a childcare place.


Our Sponsored Walk – for a Very Worthwhile Cause

Our Sponsored Walk – for a Very Worthwhile Cause

Fun and games for children at Gawthorpe Park.During the autumn half-term break, adults and children from Little Acorns Nursery in Padiham embarked on a sponsored walk around Gawthorpe Park. The walk took place during a cold and wet Tuesday, on 24th October, with children from our Little Seedlings, Little Acorns and Great Oaks rooms donning Wellington boots, anoraks and wet weather gear for the task. Once assembled, little ones and adults braved the inclement weather and went on to complete the walk admirably, even making the local Burnley Express paper.

During the walk, children made the activity more exciting by spotting wildlife, including squirrels, birds, dogs, and even Gruffaloes and bears! Accompanying adults also encouraged little ones to look out for the changing autumn leaves, which are so beautiful at this time of the year. The sponsored walk followed Baby Loss Awareness Week, which took place earlier in October.When the rain persisted, children were also encouraged to use magic wands to wish it away!

The sponsored walk also followed Baby Loss Awareness Week, which took place from the 9th to 15th, earlier in October. There, children were encouraged to wear something pink or blue during our special Pink & Blue Day, which was organised to allow children who could not make the sponsored walk to take part.

Raising Money for Maggie’s Stillbirth Legacy

Maggie's Stillbirth Legacy helps to support families who suffer the loss of a little one.The sponsored walk was dedicated to a cause that’s extremely close to our hearts — the memory of Yusuf, the baby son of one of our families — as well as aiming to raise awareness of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). £148 was raised through our sponsored walk and a further £52 through a cake sale by our sister nursery, Little Acorns in Hindley Green. All the money raised goes to the chosen charity of Yusuf’s family, Maggie’s Stillbirth Legacy, which helps to support other families who suffer the loss of a little one. The organisation has been running since 2015 and provides resources and training in hospital and care environments to better support such families. Resources provided by them include memory boxes, cuddle blankets, cold cots and angel gowns and the organisation also makes donations to several charities and related causes. It won a Pride of Britain Award in 2021.

Learn more about supporting Maggie’s Stillbirth Legacy here.

The wonderful team of adults and children who took part in the sponsored walk, outside our Padiham nursery.

Little Acorns Nursery, Padiham

Little Acorns Nursery & Preschool is in Padiham, Lancashire, near Hapton, Rose Grove, Burnley, Altham, Huncoat, Read, Simonstone, Sabden, Higham and Wood End. Little Acorns is a high-quality nursery in Padiham, Lancashire, which offers a wonderful weekday childcare service to local families. We may also suit families living or working nearby in places like Hapton, Rose Grove, Burnley, Altham, Huncoat, Read, Simonstone, Sabden, Higham and Wood End.

So, if you live nearby and have a baby, toddler or preschooler under five, get in touch to discuss the fabulous childcare service and early years education available at Little Acorns Nursery, Padiham. We’ll be happy to show you and your little one around, answer any questions, and explain more. Please get in touch today for more details or to begin your child’s application for a nursery or preschool place: