So Blogtober (run by the lovely Hex Mum Plus One
) continues with Day 6’s prompt being ‘flowers’. In all honesty, I am not a flowers type girl – at all. In fact I’m more likely to kill them off rather than keep them alive. However, I do love getting out into the fresh air with the children and using everything we find outside in our learning. As a Headteacher, I would actively encourage teachers to use the outdoor environment – children learn so much better when they are up and moving rather than sitting and listening. So, with this in mind, here are some inspiring outdoor learning ideas
Inspiring Outdoor Learning Ideas
The first idea comes from Creative Star Learning
where they are trying to encourage teachers to use the outdoor environment more. Normally when you think of learning outdoors, it tends to be collecting things, or looking at nature, but this takes it a little further. The idea is to collect, and record, data outside! So one group of teachers decided to measure puddles with sticks they found, and then turn them into a graph on the playground using chalks. Another group created a tally chart on the tarmac, and instead of labels used the items they were tallying to label it! So obvious but such a great idea. No matter if you are a teacher or a parent, there are some really great ideas here that would be so easy to implement!
Art And Crafts
The next idea comes from Kids Craft Room
, and is genuis! I can’t quite believe it never occurred to me to do this before. The idea is leaf threading. Yep, you read that right – threading leaves and creating necklaces, bracelets or just lots of lovely decorations. It might even work well for some Christmas decorations. The idea is simple (as many of the best ideas are). You collect lots of different leaves and small sticks. Then wind some twine around one of the sticks and start threading through the leaves. Absolutely simple, so much fun!
If you collect enough straight sticks then you could also try this great idea from Forty-Two Roads
, where you use them and the twine to create frames. My children often bring pictures home from school or Brownies, and I love the idea of using sticks to make frames and then give them as Christmas or Birthday presents.
Nature And Science
A lovely idea that I have used a lot of times before is a Rainbow Nature Hunt. The Montessori Soul
website has a printable that you can use, but you could easily make your own too. The concept is simple. You give each child an A4 piece of paper with colours of the rainbow on it, and they need to go and collect as many things as they can find for each colour. You might want to think about laminating the sheet if you are heading out into the wet – but it keeps them occupied for hours!
You could take this a bit further for older children by using paint sample charts in different shades of green, and see if the children could find a leaf to match each one. Then in the Autumn you could up it to shades of orange! This would be such a lovely nature walk!
A great Science idea is to do some shadow drawing using the children’s toys. Rookie Parenting has a lovely article about this and it can be used in so many different ways for different aged children. For younger ones it can be a fun art activity where you can begin to introduce the idea of shadows and how they are formed. They could even do shadow puppets at the same time! As children get a bit older, you could take them out at various times of the day to draw the same items again and again so they can start to understand the movement of the Earth. I’ve always done something very similar with Year 5 children and it works brilliantly!
So there you have it – 6 inspiring outdoor learning ideas which are all a little different! Even though the weather is beginning to turn, it’s still a great idea to get kids outside as much as possible. Mine love to crunch through the fallen leaves and we chat about Autumn, what’s happening in nature and what might be coming next. Nature can definitely bring on some of the most inspiring and deep thinking learning in kids!
I’d love to know if you have any other outdoor learning ideas that we could try. Let me know in the comments and we’ll go out and about and give them a go!
If you’d like to read any of my other Blogtober posts here is the latest one about advent calendars or check out the others below:
Day 1 : Our Story
Day 2 : Fostering to Adopt
Day 3 : Learning Ideas for Car Mad Kids