6 Family Outdoor Activities To Encourage Learning

6 Family Outdoor Activities To Encourage Learning

graphic with photo of a father with his children at the park with the title 6 Family Outdoor Activities To Encourage Learning

This time of year, most people are eager to spend more time outside and take advantage of the nicer weather. While there are a ton of activities to do outside, it may be challenging to think of ones that the whole family can enjoy. The good news is that there are a variety of outdoor activities to do as a family to encourage learning without sacrificing having fun!

Below are five outdoor activities to try without going far from home:

Father kicking ball towards his son at a park

1. Backyard Bowling

Setting up a backyard bowling lane is a fun activity that can allow your family to build their math skills. Create pins using different recyclable bottles or disposable plastic cups that will be easy to knock down with a ball. A larger ball such as a basketball or soccer ball may work better. Keep in mind that the smaller the ball, the more of a challenge it may be. A score card can be set up and points can be tallied the same as traditional bowling or you can count how many pins were knocked down each round. Whoever gets the most points wins!

2. Collect and Count Items

Another fun math activity is to collect items from nature and incorporate addition (or even subtraction!) Head out on a nature walk in your yard, the park, or on a hike. Have a plan in place on a few different items to collect. It could be pinecones, pebbles, or leaves. Next, set aside different groups that contain a different amount of the items. For example, 6 pinecones and 4 leaves. Your child can count and identify how many of each are in there and then add the total amounts together.

marble table full of origami butterflies under dramatic lighting

3. Shadow Art

When the sun is shining, a unique way to create art is to use an object’s shadow. You can explain that when an object blocks the sun’s path, light cannot pass through the object. This is what creates the shadow and depending on where the sun is in the sky, the shadow will change positions throughout the day. As they trace the shadow, they an turn the rest of the paper into a work of art by adding in different shadow art or their own imagination.

a child's hand over a table working on a project involving colors and stones

4. Create a Time Capsule

This is an activity that allows you to discuss growth and how a lot can happen in a year’s time. It’s fun to be able to sum up what’s important now and think about the future by setting goals. When you open the time capsule, it’ll be interesting to see what everyone included!

To start you can take a metal box if you are burying it or a shoebox if you plan on keeping it hidden somewhere in your home. Then you can include a letter to your future selves, pictures, crafts, or items. Then after you’ve created your time capsule, you can work with your kids to find a spot in the yard or hide it in a tucked away space in your home. Whichever method you choose, you can set a reminder for a year in the future or mark it on your calendar to open the time capsule at a set date.

5. Stargaze

There is a lot to learn when looking up at the night sky. Whether you’re stargazing without any equipment or using a telescope, there are a variety of resources to help you pinpoint what’s in the sky. Check the weather for the week and plan on heading out on a clear night, preferably when the moon isn’t full. Sometimes the brightness of the moon can make it challenging to see the stars, especially if you’re in an area with more light pollution. You can then research a star chart from the internet or download apps that help you locate constellations. With everything ready to go, choose a spot in your yard or at a nearby park and explore what’s up in the night sky.

a preview of the free outdoor bingo sheet offered by Kumon

6. Play Bingo Outdoors

Download and print out our Summer Bingo Board! Try to get as many boxes checked off while doing these activities ideas. You can even take pictures of you completing each of the activities and include them with the completed board in your time capsule!

Each of these activities encourages learning in a different way. Try them out and see which activities are the most fun for your family! If you’re looking for even more activity ideas, check out these 4 Easy Ways to Make Summer Break Fun and Educational.