Over Twenty-Five Fun Outdoor Learning Homeschool Activities

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outdoor learning homeschool activities

 

Have you considered taking your homeschool outdoors? A wide variety of outdoor homeschool activities await your child. Not only does outdoor learning help foster decision making skills, independence, and confidence, but it also gives your child a chance for hands-on, kinesthetic learning. Create an outdoor backpack with a water bottle, nature journal, Bible, and writing utensils and then make a plan to explore a wide variety of outdoor learning homeschool activities. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Nature Hike: You don’t need a large yard to go on a hike. Be creative. Explore the shrubs, plants, trees, flowers, and wildlife in your yard. If you don’t have a yard, visit a local park. Be sure to pack your child’s nature notebook for notetaking!
  1. Container Gardening: Be creative. Anything can double as a container for growing a plant such as an old rubber boot. Just give it a new coat of paint with a bright bold color. Try an old watering can, tea kettle, or birdcage. Do you have an old ladder around? Place potted plants on each step for a rustic look!
  1. Create a Reading Mat: My kids each have a mat they created out of plastic placements. I punched evenly-spaced holes with a hole punch and gave them each a long strand of plastic cord. They attached the two placements, by weaving the plastic cord through the holes around the placements. They have used these mats for years to sit on while they read outside.
  1. Tepee Time: Gather up some sticks or use several brooms for the framework of a tepee. Find an old sheet, some rope, and let your children have at it! Kids love to read or do their independent work in forts, so why not let them create a tepee?
  1. Go Fly a Kite and Make One Too: Making a kite is easy and rewarding. Find a simple kite pattern online and gather your materials. Have your child decorate the kite and head outdoors with their new creation!
  1. Make a Nature Weaving: Create a small wooden loom with several pieces of string attached vertically. Over several weeks have your child gather twigs, long-stemmed flowers, grasses, bark, and different pieces of nature that could easily be woven on the loom.
  1. Paint a Picture: Grab an easel, some paints, paintbrushes, and an inexpensive canvas (they sell small ones at the Dollar Tree) and head outdoors. Wait for the sunset or venture out early in the morning. Find a picture-perfect view for inspiration and paint away!
  1. Nature-Inspired Animated Flipbook: Grab a sticky-note notepad and a marker. Head outside and find a leaf that you want to animate. Begin by drawing a picture of the leaf in the upper-right corner of the last page of the notepad. Continue drawing pictures of the leaf on each consecutive page moving the leaf downwards and to the left until you reach the lower-left corner. Flip the pages and watch the leaf fall!
  1. Decorate Your Bike and Go for a Ride: Decorating your child’s bike’s wheels has never been easier! Grab brightly colored pipe cleaners and have your child carefully wrap them around the spokes. Teach them about creating patterns or primary colors and then go for a ride.
  1. Survival Skills: An older kid might enjoy repurposing an old Altoids tin. Instruct your child to fill it with what they might need in an emergency while on a hike in the woods: band-aids, matches for starting a fire, a pocketknife, etc.
  1. Chalk Obstacle Course: Make math fun with a chalk obstacle course! Draw a hopscotch board with multiplication facts, draw geometric figures for your child to name off as they jump on them, or create a super long hopscotch board where they must jump and count backward from 50 to zero.
  1. Search for Animal Tracks: Tuck your child’s nature journal into their backpack and venture outside. This activity works best if it has rained recently. Search the dirt (or mud) for as many animal tracks as you can find. Your child can draw and label them in their notebook. If they don’t know what the tracks are from, encourage them to look them up.
  1. Create a Bottle Rocket: You most likely will need to make a quick trip to your local hardware store to build the PVC pipe launching pad for this activity, but it is worth the extra work. Search for PVC pipe bottle rocket instructions online, and with minimal effort, you will be launching a 2-liter bottle high into the sky!
  1. Leaf Scavenger Hunt: Search your backyard or local park for as many different leaves as you can. Have your child collect them for their nature journals. They can attach the leaves to their journals, label them, and write down where each one was found.
  1. Flower Pressing: Using an old book to press flowers. Collect and press a wide variety of flowers to be placed in their nature journal.
  1. Morning Watch: Missionary Amy Carmichael coined the term Morning Watch when she gathered children together in India for Bible reading and prayer. Encourage your child to establish a Morning Watch time, outdoors, where they can read the Bible and pray each day.
  1. Pinecone Birdfeeders: Simply spread peanut butter onto a pinecone and dip into birdseed. Tie on a piece of string and hang from a tree, preferably within view of a window so your children can watch the birds enjoy their treat!
  1. Micro Hike: Bring a string (precut to three feet long) and a magnifying glass outside. Have your child set the string on the ground and sit next to it. Set a timer for three minutes and have them write down everything they can see. Along the string, on the ground. They might be surprised by how much they can find!
  1. Outdoor Tunes: Blindfold your child and carefully lead them outdoors. Set a timer for 60 seconds and have them listen for as many sounds as they can. Bring them inside and ask them to write down all the different sounds that they heard.
  1. Habitat Hunt: Using their nature journal, have your child draw pictures of several different habitats in your backyard or a local park: old tree stumps, a porch light (bird nest), etc.
  1. Nature Rubbings: Ask your child to find several different items outside that they can use for rubbings in their journal. Fun ideas include leaves, bark, a four-leaf clover, and shells.
  1. Measure a Tree: Find a tall tree. Ask your child to stand in front of the tree while holding up their thumb. Have them move back until their thumb appears at the top of the tree and the bottom of their hand appears at the base of the tree. They then rotate their arm making sure that the bottom of their hand is still at the base of the tree and their thumb is pointing sideways. Have a sibling or parent stand where their thumb appears to be. Measure the distance and you will have the height of the tree!
  1. Sight Word Soccer: Write several sight words on construction paper and attach them to plastic cones. Encourage your child to dribble a soccer ball through a course you set up while saying the sight words as they pass them.
  1. Skip Counting Stones: Find smooth stones and write even numbers 2-24 on them. Place them in a row and have your child count by 2’s as they collect the stones in order. Create a set for skip counting 3’s, 5’s, or any other number pattern.
  1. Animal Tag: Like freeze tag, have your children play animal tag in the backyard. Call out a habitat and have them only use animals from that habitat.
  1. Create a Movie: Using a cellphone or tablet, let your children create an outdoor movie!
  1. Stargazing: On a cloudless evening or a night when you know a meteor shower is expected, surprise your child by waking them up in the middle of the night and taking them outside for some stargazing fun!

 

outdoor learning homeschool activities

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).
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