Learning opportunities can be found all around us, not just in a classroom environment. It’s important for young people to understand this so that they don’t associate learning with a boring lesson at school. You can help, by looking for ways to enhance their learning at home, or in the garden. There are lots of outdoor learning activities you can try with your child to help with their overall development. Outdoor activities are a great way to expose your child with a new set of risks, to help them become better problem solvers. After all, there are some things that cannot be learnt from books. Here are six ideas to get you started from a prep school in Buckinghamshire.
- Outdoor Art
Arts and crafts are a great way to boost your child’s creativity and gives them the chance to express themselves in a new and stimulating way. Not only are they good for developing your child’s fine motor skills, arts and crafts are also fantastic for helping your child see certain materials in a different light and find the beauty in everyday items. Encourage them to look for some items out in the garden that they can include in their artwork, such as leaves and twigs. The good thing about outdoor art is that it doesn’t matter as much if things get a little messy.
- Nature Walks
Fresh air and exercise are not only great for your child’s physical and mental health, but also for their cognitive function and learning. Try and find new routes to walk on so that your child has the opportunity to experience different elements of nature. For instance, you could walk through a forest and teach them about different trees and discuss what sort of animals and bugs might be living amongst them. Alternatively, you could take a stroll along the coast and look for fossils.
- Survival Skills
The great outdoors provides your child with many opportunities to learn some survival skills. Teach them how to read a map/compass, keep warm without a fire, or put up a tent etc. Help them with situational awareness by pointing out landmarks that they could meet up at if they were to get separated from a group.
- Grow Your Own
Give your child the tools and seeds they need to plant their own fruit and/or vegetables, as this will help them learn about what is needed when keeping a plant alive. I.e., they will need plenty of sunlight and water. Looking after their own plants will also teach your child the importance of determination, as their plants will die if they give up.
- Scavenger Hunts
Teach your child about different natural materials by encourage them to go on an outdoor scavenger hunt. Write a list of items you want them to look for, such as petals, leaves, conkers, acorns, pinecones, etc. You could even turn the activity into a little healthy competition and get their friends involved, giving the first person or team to find all of the items correctly a small prize.
- Litter Picking
Litter picking is a great way to teach your child about looking after the community, as well as a chance for you to discuss various environmental issues. This is something that all the family can get involved in and you’ll all feel proud of yourselves at the end of it.
There are plenty of other outdoor learning opportunities, but the above ideas should certainly get you started and inspire you to come up with some ideas of your own. Outdoor learning is great for helping children absorb information that they have learnt about at school in a more sensory environment that they can remember for a long time.