Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Outdoor ideas for springtime learning

The birds are singing, the buds are blooming, the sun is shining and the sky is blue... well, mostly, we are in Britain after all! 

The point is spring has sprung and come rain or shine (and admittedly, it is mostly rain), there are plenty of opportunities to get your class outside and enjoying the fresh air.

But what to do? Even just teaching your normal curriculum outdoors is a start, but if you're looking for some real outdoorsy activities and you're not afraid of a little bit of mud, then the Woodland Trust's Nature Detectives website is a great place to start.

It offers over a thousand nature-based activities available for families, children and teachers to download completely free. Each resource provides hours of fun that incorporates learning, nature and creativity, and can be adapted to suit children of all ages. 

Here are some great ideas from the site's Spring section:

Adventures with sticks – From twig towers to stick ships, magic wands to winter wreaths, there are tons of things you can do with sticks. This resource pack gives some ideas to get you started.

Welly wander – A set of activity sheets to accompany a walk in wellies! What do you paddle in, wade through, jump in, splash...? What do you see, smell, hear and feel on your welly wander? 

Weather diary  A brilliant template to record the changing weather. Helps you track sunshine, temperature, rainfall, wind speed and cloudiness.

Tree identification tools – Identify trees from their twigs, leaves, buds and blossom. Plus a whole load of fun games, puzzles and craft activities related to trees. 

Spring symphony  Listen to the sounds of spring, then make your own with natural materials.

Colour bingo  How many colours can you spot in nature?

What have you spotted? – Springtime scavenger hunt. Includes frog spawn, butterflies, catkins, blossom and more.

Hunt for animal tracks – Hunt for and identify animal tracks left in the mud or snow! Includes Badger, deer, dog, duck, fox, heron, otter and squirrel.

Bird Pack – 25 free printable activity sheets, plus videos and desktop wallpapers to get children excited about bird life. Includes a bird spotter sheet, bird bingo, a balancing swallow to colour in and perch somewhere interesting, and the nest building challenge – a hands on activity to help children learn how birds build their nests. 

Pirate Pack – Help your class make themselves a pirate hat, then set sail for the woods. They can build a stick ship, make a treasure chest, then start hunting for natural treasures. 

The Woodland Trust regularly updates the resources on its Nature Detectives website, so keep an eye out for new and exciting ways to encourage children and young people to interact with nature, especially as we move into the summer.

< Read the previous post in this series

The material in this series of blog posts is taken from the article 'A practical guide to outdoor learning' by Amy Williams of The Woodland Trust.

Have you enjoyed this series? Tell us what you think!

1 comment:

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