Looking to boost or maintain learning this summer? Check out these fun and easy outdoor learning activities for kids of all ages. Keep them learning during the summer break by ditching the workbooks and grabbing some rocks and sidewalk chalk and going outside!
In today’s technology-driven world, it’s becoming increasingly important to find ways to connect children with the natural environment. Outdoor learning activities offer a fantastic opportunity for kids to immerse themselves in hands-on experiences that stimulate their minds, boost creativity, and foster a love for learning. In this blog post, we will delve into the exciting realm of outdoor education and explore various activities that integrate literacy, math, and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) concepts. From nature-inspired storytelling to math scavenger hunts and scientific experiments under the open sky, these engaging activities will not only educate but also ignite a sense of wonder and adventure in young minds.
This is really a fantastic list of learning ideas that can be done outdoors in the warmer weather. The great thing about this list is that you can modify most of them to meet your child’s learning needs and level! Make a pool noodle obstacle course to learn not just letters but also numbers, shapes, sight words or addition. Use sidewalk chalk and spray bottles to learn colours, letter sounds or names! There are so many ways to promote learning outside.
This is list of outdoor learning ideas is organized into 3 sections:
- Literacy Activities;
- Math Activities; and
- STEAM Activities.
WILL YOU TRY ANY OF THESE OUTDOOR LEARNING ACTIVITIES WITH YOUR KIDS THIS SUMMER? PIN IT FOR LATER!
Outdoor Literacy Activities
The great outdoors provides an inspiring backdrop for literacy exploration. Encourage children to embark on nature walks, where they can observe and collect interesting objects such as leaves, feathers, or rocks. Back at home or in a designated outdoor learning space, help them create a nature journal or storytelling kit. Using their findings as inspiration, kids can write stories, poems, or descriptive passages about their discoveries. By combining the beauty of nature with the power of language, these activities foster language skills, creativity, and a deeper appreciation for the world around them.
Check out more easy ideas below.
- Squish the Bugs Alphabet Game – Happy Toddler Playtime
- How to Practice Writing Sight Words for Kids Who Love the Dirt – Thriving STEM
- Construction Race: a Letter & Number Active Learning Game! – Preschool Powol Pocket
- Teaching Sight Words with a Fun Water Play Activity – Homeschool Preschool
- Spray the Flowers – Happy Toddler Playtime
- Water Balloon Letter Smash: Summer Literacy Activity – School Time Snippets
- ABC Sidewalk Chalk Game – Buggy and Buddy
- Jump & Spell Spelling Activity – 123 Homeschool 4 Me
- Icy Letters: A Literacy Sensory Bin – Happy Toddler Playtime
- Alphabet Learning with Chalk & Rocks – And next Comes L
- Water Painting Handwriting Practice – Coffee Cups and Crayons
- Painting Letters With Water – a Fun Pre-Writing Activity for Kids – Happy Hooligans
- Sight Word Soccer – Fun Outdoor Literacy Activity for Kids! – Chalk Academy
- Spray Bottle Alphabet Game – Raising Dragons
- Pool Noodle Learning Activity: Alphabetical Order Obstacle Course – The Educators’ Spin On It
- Name Splash Preschool Letter Recognition Game – Preschool Inspirations
Outdoor Math Activities
Nature is a natural playground for mathematical exploration. Take advantage of outdoor spaces to engage kids in math activities that make numbers come alive. Design math scavenger hunts where children search for specific shapes, patterns, or quantities in their surroundings. Encourage them to estimate and measure the height or circumference of trees, track and graph changes in temperature or rainfall over time, or even construct natural geometric shapes using sticks and stones. These activities not only reinforce math concepts but also develop critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and an understanding of mathematical applications in the real world.
Check out more easy ideas below.
- Learn Patterns Outside – Bambini Travels
- Garden Flower Ten Frame – Rainy Day Mum
- Sidewalk Chalk Outdoor Math Game – Look We’re Learning
- Outdoor number hunt for preschoolers – The Lady Birds Adventures
- Number Dig, Wash & Match – Happy Toddler Playtime
- Counting Walking With Toddlers and Preschoolers – Bambini Travels
- Outdoor Color Hunt – Days With Grey
- Giant Outdoor Memory Game for Kids – 123 Homeschool 4 Me
- Number Spray & Dump – Happy Toddler Playtime
- Telling Time Activities : Make a Hula Hoop Clock – Creekside Learning
- Sum Splat: Learning with Water Balloons – I Can Teach My Child
- Learn to Count Lady Bird Craft – Messy Little Monsters
- Outdoor math review: bean bag addition! – Susan Jones
- Simple Outdoor Number Activities for Kids – Fun-A-Day!
- Sidewalk Chalk Math Games – Frugal Fun For Boys and Girls
- Chalk Counting Garden – Fantastic Fun and Learning
Outdoor STEAM Activities
STEAM activities bring science, technology, engineering, arts, and math together, creating a holistic and engaging learning experience. Outdoor spaces offer limitless opportunities to explore these disciplines. Encourage kids to conduct simple science experiments, such as observing the life cycle of a butterfly, investigating the properties of water, or building mini-rafts to test buoyancy in a nearby stream. They can also engage in engineering challenges by constructing bridges with natural materials or creating wind-powered objects. Encouraging creativity through outdoor art projects like leaf rubbings or making natural dyes adds an artistic component to the learning process. These STEAM adventures foster curiosity, problem-solving abilities, and an understanding of the interconnectedness of various disciplines.
Check out more easy ideas below.
- Rock Science Experiments – KCEdventures
- How to Make a Pitfall Trap with Kids – Rainy Day Mum
- Sunscreen Painting: STEAM For Kids – Team Cartwright
- Awesome Outdoor Play Tree Puzzle – Preschool Toolkit
- How to Build a Bug Hotel – Megan Zeni
- DIY Solar Oven from a repurposed cardboard box – The Craft Train
- Dragon Science: Green Fire – Kid Minds
- Pop Rock Science Experiment for Kids – 123 Homeschool 4 Me
- Let It Rain: Puddle Science – Kid Minds
- Science for Kids: DIY Water Rockets & Physics – KCEdventures
- Water Balloon Science Experiment – 123 Homeschool 4 Me
- How to Make Exploding Paint Rockets with Film Canisters – STEAMsational
Outdoor learning activities provide a rich and immersive educational experience for children, integrating literacy, math, and STEAM concepts in a captivating and memorable way. By venturing into the great outdoors, kids can develop vital skills while connecting with the natural world. Through literary adventures, math explorations, and STEAM projects, children will not only enhance their academic abilities but also cultivate a sense of wonder, curiosity, and stewardship for the environment. So, let’s step outside, embrace the wonders of nature, and embark on an exciting journey of outdoor learning with our young adventurers.