Outdoor Activities That Promote Learning (and Don’t Skimp on the Fun!)
Spring break is coming, and your family will want to get out of the house and soak up the sunshine. Of course, having fun and playing games during the break is essential, but you can sneak in some opportunities to learn. Outdoor activities can be a great way to teach your child something new.
Here are engaging outdoor activities that promote learning and keep the fun rolling, too!
Whether planting flowers or vegetables, gardening with your kids is a great way to get your child learning in the fresh air. Together, decide what to grow in your yard. Then, have your child research the best environment for their plant, learn what pests to watch out for, and practice caring for it properly. Finally, encourage your child to keep a plant journal, and they’ll also practice their writing skills.
Treasure hunts are fun outdoor activities that reward following directions and sharpen reasoning skills. They can also be excellent opportunities to have your child partner up with friends and work together. You can start making the hints more difficult as they get faster and better at finding their hidden treasure. Once they master following directions, reverse the roles and have them take turns creating their own treasure hunts!
Pack up the family and head to your local nature trail or state park during this time or on your next break. Spend time with your child researching the plants and animals you might see while on the trails. You can also have your child sketch a map of the area with landmarks they find. If your kids are older, have them research the historical or geographical importance of the site and play tour guide, narrating the hike.
If you won’t be able to hike an entire state park this spring, no problem! Bird-watching is another great outdoor activity that promotes learning. Not only will your child learn about many different birds, but they’ll also learn about the complex ecosystem in their own backyard! While learning about the characteristics and behaviors of different birds, they’ll also be honing their observational skills and developing an eye for detail.
Many kids are enrolled in organized team sports, but playing team sports in the neighborhood green space can provide a no-pressure learning opportunity for kids. Whether playing kickball, soccer, or freeze tag, your kids can learn the game’s rules, get to know their neighbors better, and practice social skills like winning and losing gracefully. Opportunities to increase interpersonal skills and self-regulation will help your child’s academic and social success in the classroom, too.
Even if you don’t think there’s much wildlife in your neighborhood, if they’re actively looking, your children might discover plants and animals they’ve never seen! Using an instant camera or a cell phone, while they snap everything from a nest of baby birds to a newly blossoming flower, they’ll stimulate their curiosity about the natural world.
No backyard? No problem! Your family can still get some fresh air and sunshine by heading outside with a bucket of chalk. Your kids can make elaborate works of art, create complicated hopscotch courses, and solve math problems on the driveway. They can practice handwriting, recreate their favorite board games, and even write friendly notes on the sidewalk. See where their creativity takes them!
Are you seeking more ways to promote your child’s learning or close subject learning gaps? Best in Class Education Centers can help encourage your child to develop a lifelong love of learning, whether in the classroom or in the great outdoors. Learn more about our enrichment programs today!