With the warmer weather, taking learning outdoors is a great way to help make it fun and interesting for your child. Here are 7 ideas for outdoor learning you can try with your child this summer.
- Birdwatching: Depending on the age of your child, you can either simply point out different birds you see together or create a checklist of common birds in your area that your child can look for. To make it more fun, you can create “binoculars” out of toilet paper or paper towel rolls and string.
- Outdoor scavenger hunt: A scavenger hunt of common outdoor items can help your child learn to classify and sort objects. You can choose items by color, texture, size, or shape.
- Skipping stones: Older children can have fun and learn some scientific principles by skipping stones. By trial and error, your child can figure out which size and shape of stonework best. Does weight play a part? What throwing angle works best?
- Making rain a sensory experience: A rainy day doesn’t have to mean outdoor learning stops. You can go outside and encourage your child to use their senses to learn. How does the rain feel on their hands? How does it sound hitting different surfaces? How does it change the soil in your yard? How quickly can it fill up a cup?
- Rescuing earthworms: After the rain stops, children can learn about nature and develop empathy by looking for worms on the sidewalk and transporting them to the grass or soil. Your child may want to investigate the worm, but remind them that worms need the moisture in the soil to help them breathe, and it can be dangerous to hold them for too long.
- Creating a sculpture: With sticks, rocks, and leaves in abundance, the great outdoors can hold endless possibilities for your child to create a sculpture. Encourage their creativity, but continue to teach them about being gentle and respectful of nature.
- Practicing letters and numbers: Sticks and rocks can also be a great way to help your older child practice their spelling or their numbers. This is also an ideal activity to do on a beach, having your child use a stick to draw numbers or spell a word or a phrase in the sand.
As always, ensure your entire family practices safe sun exposure when enjoying outdoor learning with your child.