Outdoor Education Activities - Student Resources

Outdoor Education Activities

Dad and Child Reading Outside

Outdoor Education Activities Your Child will Love 

It is important to bring your child outdoors whenever you can. It could be something as simple as playing sports, playing with friends, or just taking a walk around the block. There have been proven benefits both socially and educationally when a child is learning inside and outside the classroom. Nature provides our children with an abundance of educational tools that can benefit them. Implementing outdoor education activities in your child’s day can help uplift their senses, spark their imagination, and overall improve their emotional, intellectual, and behavioral development. 

Here are some different outdoor educational activities that you can do with your kids that are easy, and fun for everyone! 

1. Chalk Jump 

This activity can be done right in your driveway. All you will need is some chalk! First, you’re going to want to get assorted colors of chalk. With those assorted colors, write random numbers and letters scattered throughout the driveway. Once you have written out numbers and letters in various colors, you are going to call out a random number or letter and that color that it is written in. (1) Your child’s objective is to run and jump on top of the correct one! 

This activity is a great way to enhance a child’s motor skills, counting, and number and letter recognition. (1) It’s also a clever way for your kid to be active and learn at the same time. 

2. Splash The Sight Word 

For this outdoor activity, you will need some flashcards, chalk, and a bucket of water. You are going to write some sight words on flashcards with a marker. Once you write the words down on the cards, you are then going to write those same words with chalk on your driveway, or wherever you please! Now, you are going to show your child a flash card and have them say the word aloud. (2) Once they say the correct word, have them find that word written in chalk and take a bucket of water and splash it away!  

This is a wonderful way to have your kid learn to read, recognize, and match different sight words. This teaches your child not only to follow proper directions, but to enhance their fine motor skills. (2) And this is a great activity to do on a nice summer’s day! 

3. Add and Splash 

What are another thing kids love besides chalk? Water balloons! For this educational activity, you will need water balloons, a marker, and chalk as well. You are going to fill the water balloons up and write different numbers on them with a permanent marker. You are then going to take your chalk to write different sums on the pavement. Put the water balloons in a bucket, and have your child pick out two water balloons each time from the bucket. Have your child add up the sum of the numbers on the two balloons. Once they have figured out the sum, have them find it written in chalk on the driveway and throw the balloons at the correct answer to splash it away! (3) 

This is a fun and effortless way to help your child practice addition. With the use of water balloons, this makes adding fun and motivates them to want to do more. With them wanting to play this game more, they are also practicing their addition. When a child is more interested in what they are learning, they are more likely to absorb that information. 

4. Outdoor Nook- Bring the love of reading outside 

This last activity is not as active as the others, but just as rewarding. Most educational activities you do inside can be done outdoors as well. So, why not bring reading outdoors? It has been said that especially for kids, reading outside increases focus and brings a calming energy over them. Something fun you can do with your kid is create a little reading nook outside for both of you to read in. (4) It can be as simple as putting down a blanket and some pillows, or even setting up a tent area with some bed sheets under a tree.  

This activity allows you to bond with your child, in a nice, calm environment. It also allows your child to get out of the house and enjoy the sunshine! 

The Takeaway 

There are so many benefits that come with embracing the outdoors to enhance your child’s learning. Encouraging your child to spend time outdoors more rather than in front of a TV or computer can help improve their emotional health, physical health, and intellect. Emotionally, it makes them utilize all their senses when they are outside. (5) It also can help them feel a sense of independence. They have the chance to explore the outdoors, which can lead to a confidence boost within, helping them grow and learn. Having a sense of independence can also encourage them to use their imagination more, aiding their overall brain development. (5) You want to make these activities fun and engaging for both you and your child. With summer ahead, take advantage of the outdoors as much as possible! 

[1] https://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/education/blog/engaging-outdoor-learning-activities-for-kids/

[2] https://homeschoolpreschool.net/teaching-sight-words-water-play/?fbclid=IwAR0n1-EV0G7Hefk2A1d46w707vazsIiSP31b1OSBIgSpVuv6BmQ8S_i-HN8

[3] https://www.icanteachmychild.com/sum-splat-learning-with-water-balloons/

[4] https://teachingideas.ca/2018/11/01/outdoor-classroom-ideas/

[5] https://www.miracle-recreation.com/blog/why-should-my-child-play-outside-benefits-of-outdoor-play-for-kids/