Learning doesn’t have to be limited to indoor classrooms and dusty desks! More often it’s hands-on experiences that leave a long-lasting impression of on a child’s mind. Children love to explore the natural world around them, which is why outdoor education activities are the perfect way to break the monotony and create fun new learning opportunities.
Dr. Ruth Wilson’s book Learning Is in Bloom describes the joys of experimenting outside and using the natural world as a classroom. It’s full of fun outdoor art and outdoor math activities, like the ones listed below, that will assist your classroom in embracing the great outdoors!
Children will become familiar with the characteristics of natural plants and other outdoor objects
- A variety of plant parts (leaves, flower petals, seedpods, stems)
- Gather grass, flowers, and other plant parts
- Rub grass across a piece of paper to show how its color can be used to paint with
- Encourage the children to use the other plant parts to make colorful marks on the paper
- Once the children become accustomed to getting colors out of the plant parts, encourage them to draw a picture
- Make an art gallery to display the children’s work
Which is More?
Children will extend their understanding of the words more and less using counting or other techniques
- 10 to 20 objects in one category (flowers, rocks, acorns) and 5-10 objects from another category
- A book about more and less
- Sort the objects into their two respective categories
- Use a book with photographs to help children consider the ideas of less and more
- Ask the children to note which group of objects you sorted has more and which has less
- Re-sort the objects into lines rather than piles and ask the children again which group has more. This helps establish the permanence of numbers, as the groups still have the same number of objects despite now being in a line