The great outdoors provides so many learning opportunities for children, most of which are completely free! Of course it can be a challenge getting outside if the weather isn’t great, but when it is, make the most of it by introducing your child to the natural world so they can learn about their environment and how amazing and precious it is. Here a prep school in Oxford offers 5 great ideas for outdoor learning activities you can do with your child.
Ask your child to list all the different types of insects they can think of, then go for a walk in a field or the woods and challenge them to find them and tick them off their list. You can take the opportunity to teach them about different habitats, and the role insects play in creating and maintaining ecosystems. Your child will no doubt find it fascinating, and they’ll get some good exercise in the process.
Outdoor activities don’t have to be confined to the daytime. Why not set up a nighttime picnic and spend some time gazing at the stars; even better if you have a telescope to look at them through. You can talk about the planets and constellations, and explain what stars are made of. Your child will probably have lots of questions about the universe!
If you’re greenfingered why not get your child involved in digging and planting. They’ll love getting their hands dirty in the soil and planting seeds. It can also be a great activity for developing their fine motor skills as they’ll use small movements to pinch seeds and put them in a hole or pick some fruit or vegetables that you’ve already grown. Children also love watching something they’ve planted grow (and then eating it!).
Why not take some paints and brushes and head outside for a spot of creative painting. You can collect objects like leaves and stones and then paint colourful patterns on them. Your child will love painting leaves and then using them to imprint on some paper or cardboard. Rock painting is also a fun activity.
Building a den with logs is great for improving children’s coordination and spatial awareness, while also being a good form of exercise. Your child will feel proud of themselves for creating a den and they’ll love playing inside it.
As you can see, there are so many ways nature can teach your child about the world, while providing ample opportunities for fun as well.