Why not head outside with the kids to learn when the skies are clear, and the sun shines? The fun part of homeschooling is that learning can occur anywhere at any time. These are great learning ideas for any parent, not just homeschooling parents.
Even big city dwellers can have fun in the great outdoors learning with their kiddos. Parks, greenspaces, and waterfronts make great learning stops.
In this post, I am sharing some fun outdoor learning ideas you can easily do for free with your kids outside. All ages benefit from the fresh air and change of scenery once in a while.
Outdoor Learning Fun Idea #1
Have your kids identify objects outside and describe them. Very young children can identify them. Slightly older children can use one word to describe, for ex: It's a blade of grass; the grass is green. Then, have even older kids have them explain in greater detail. Ex: The grass is green and wet because the dew is still on it.
This exercise can be expounded on by having them write about the object in question. They will be practicing oral communication, writing, and critical thinking.
Outdoor Learning Fun Idea #2Have a spur-of-the-moment spelling bee game. Again choose objects you see around you. For example, I spy a blade of grass. The word grass is spelled g-r-a-s-s. Small children can stick to playing I Spy.
Outdoor Learning Fun Idea #3Bring paper with you outside, and kids can have fun drawing objects they see. Ask older students also to write the object's name down and possibly an adjective or two. Then, depending on skill levels, you can ask for a sentence describing the thing. Additionally, older kids can be asked to write a short paragraph about the object.
Outdoor Learning Fun Idea #4Have children write short poems in various styles about an object. For example, young children can choose an object they see, like the dirt, and make acrostic poems or poems that rhyme. You can instruct older students to make more challenging poetry in another style.
Outdoor Learning Fun Idea #5Bring a book outside and read aloud on a blanket or picnic bench. You can ask your children to bring books outside to read to themselves. Or you can take turns reading books. Make it fun by asking the kids to act out the story or to read in a silly voice for their parts.
Outdoor Learning Fun Idea #6
Have a scavenger hunt outside for objects. Scavenger hunts are one of our favorites to do each spring. We print off our free outdoor scavenger hunt page and take it out to see who can find everything on their list.
You can expand on this by coming together again afterward to discuss what they found. Did they find a cone? Was it from a pine tree? Did they find a rock? What type of rock is it; sedimentary, igneous, or metamorphic?
Outdoor Learning Fun Idea #7
Have an art lesson the day before going outside, where children make up treasure maps. You can antique the maps by crumpling them and staining them with tea. Once their maps are dry, exchange the treasure maps. Then, each child can hide something outside for the others to look for. It's a wild game once they are out happily searching for hidden treasures.
This activity is great because they learn basic map-making skills. You can tell them to each use a legend on their maps to show what landmarks they are including. You can describe how landmarks are needed daily to know where you are and how to navigate the world.
So you see, there are many ways to be creative in learning outdoors. From basic I Spy games to more elaborate language arts and exploring. Have you been outside learning with the kids yet? What activity do you do that your kids love?