Outdoor learning plays a key role in a child’s education, thanks to the many benefits it provides. It’s an opportunity for children to understand that learning can happen anywhere, it doesn’t have to be in a classroom. What’s more, outdoor learning activities help kids develop a sense of respect for the environment, which will benefit society in the long run. I have teamed up with a private school in Hertfordshire to offer parents some suggestions for outdoor learning activities.
1. Grow Your Own
Encouraging your child to help you plant some seeds in the garden, whether its seasonal flowers or your very own vegetable patch, is a great way to teach them about dedication and patience. They will need to make sure their plants are well cared for, with enough sunlight and water, which will take time and commitment. This is a very rewarding activity for children, because they will have something to show for their hard work at the end of it.
2. Explore Survival Skills
Take your child camping or just help them build their very own den in the local park. Ask them to help you put up the tent and teach them how to read a map or a compass. Not only will you have great fun and teach your child some valuable skills, they will also be able to treasure the memories for a long time – and that’s what childhood is all about.
3. Scavenger Hunt
Prepare a list of items you’d like your child and their friends to look for in the garden or a nearby forest, like a sycamore leaf, an acorn, a conker etc. The first child to find all of the items on your list could potentially win a prize. This is an opportunity for them to socialise, as well as learn how to engage in healthy competition. What’s more, they’ll learn a little more about nature in the process.
4. Free Play
Encouraging your child to play and explore independently will go a long way to helping them learn about themselves and about nature. They could blow bubbles using a DIY mix, ride a bike, hula hoop, roller skate or even something simple like making mud pies or splashing in puddles. Encourage them to ask questions and ask them questions of your own, like “where do you think that puddle came from?” or “did you sport any birds or other animals whilst you were outside?”. It’s all about promoting inquisitiveness and personal development.