Around the Block

Did you know that a simple walk around a block helps your child practice skills in math, reading and science? All you need is a pencil or crayon, and a piece of paper.  You can use your cell phone’s camera and timer, too, but you don’t need your phone to do some great brain play. (Don’t forget your face mask if you will be near other people.)


  • pencil or crayon
  • a piece of paper
  • clock or timer


Take a piece of paper and draw nine squares on it, like this:


Next, ask your child what things you might see if you took a walk around your block.  Write down or draw a simple picture of each item in each square.  Here’s an example:

Drawing of a grid of nine squares, each contains a drawing: stop sign, garbage can, etc.

Before you begin your walk, ask your child how long they think it will take you to walk once around the block.  Write down their guess.  Set your clock’s timer and head outside on your adventure!

Each time your child spots something on your list, have them cross it out with the crayon or pencil.  See if you can cross out all of the boxes on your walk around the block.

When you get back home, look at the timer, and write down how long you were out on your walk.  Talk about whether your child’s guess was longer or shorter than the actual time.  This is a skill used in science—making a prediction and comparing what actually happened.  You can also count how many things you saw and count how many things you didn’t see.  Which was more?

Concepts Learned

Science: observation, recording data, and making a prediction

Math: measurement of time, sequencing, counting, more or less

Reading:  matching one picture or symbol to another

Life skills:  making a plan, focus and attention, self-regulation (not getting distracted), working memory