In our current climate, it is important now more than ever to get ourselves outdoors to improve mood and well-being, as well as giving us all a break from technology and providing children with a different learning environment.
Below are some ideas of activities to do together outside, either in your garden or at the local park/open space (Government restrictions permitting).
Gardening is not only fun but also develops new skills including: responsibility – from caring for plants, understanding – as they learn about cause and effect (for example, plants die without water, weeds compete with plants) and self-confidence – from achieving their goals and enjoying the food they have grown.
You do not need to plan or prepare complicated projects or activities, you could:
https://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/grow-plants/10-gardening-projects-for-kids/ - These simple garden projects are a great way to get the kids outside, entertained and away from the TV or computer screen.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/grownups/7-tips-for-gardening-with-children - Some great tips and ideas for those that are beginners to the world of gardening.
https://www.scouts.org.uk/ - Check out the Scouts website for lots of stay at home activities for a whole range of ages.
Equipment needed: different shaped objects/toys, paper, pencil
Make the most of the sunshine and create shadow versions of your favourite toys. You could even try and use everyday objects around the house and then turn them into something else! Once you’ve drawn your shadow outline, you could colour it in different colours using pens/pencils/paint, give it a funny face or practise your shading skills using a single pencil to create tone and texture.
Stone Balance Towers
Equipment needed: Different shaped stones.
For adults and children, go on a stone hunt and find different shaped/sized stones in the garden then give this a go and see how high you can go! It seems simple but is surprisingly addictive! Take it a little bit further by sketching or photographing your masterpieces.
Stick Raft Building
Equipment needed: Various sticks and string, paper/material for sail (not essential)
If you have a river/stream nearby or even a pond/paddling pool in the garden, then why not try making some little twig rafts. If we’re in total lock down then why not try using some materials from the recycling bin and try them in a bowl of water in the garden or even in the sink or bath!
Think about the design before you make it. How big/small will the raft be? Are you going to make a sail? If so, how will you attach it to the raft? What design features will it have? Experiment with different joining techniques and discuss which ones would work best, why/why not? Then once it has been tested: what worked well? What did not work so well? How could it be improved? And the joy is, you’ll have time to make these improvements!
Useful outdoor learning websites
Learning through landscapes
Outdoor Classroom Day
RSPB Wild Challenge is a great way to engage with nature and also earn rewards