5 Quick And Easy Ideas For Outside Learning

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Ann-Marie is an early year's teacher based in Kent. She has experienced early years in a variety of settings from the baby room up to the reception classroom. Alongside her teaching experience she has also had the opportunity of leading a reception team. Her writing...
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How can we make the most of learning outside?

Get outside! “The sun has got its hat on, hip-hip-hip hooray!” The sun is about so there is no excuse for not getting your children outside. This is the time of year when you can fully enjoy the outside without having to endure the ups and downs of the British weather… (too much!)

The outside environment is a place where you can gather an abundance of evidence and tick off those tricky development matters grids. You know those ones I am talking about… Understanding of the World and Health and Self-Care.

Before heading outdoors though please make sure that your school informs parents to make sure that their children bring in their hats, glasses, sun cream and water on a daily basis. We cannot enjoy this weather fully without the necessary precautions, nobody wants to experience a child suffering from heat stroke.

5 Outdoor Learning Ideas

Here are a few ideas that you can use in your environment to both enjoy the weather and get that admin stuff done.

1. Sun Cream and Sun Care

Nothing screams health and self-care more than having to teach children how to take care of their bodies when the temperature rises.

One key ingredient is sun cream! Yes, by all means have the typical circle times, but let’s mix it up a little bit and make it fun. Let the children make their own sun cream and rub it all over balloons. Allow them to experiment and mix colours together.

Don’t forget to teach them the 5 S’s of sun safety too and what it means to be sun safe. Always check your school’s Sun Protection Policy as well.

2. Hydration and Water

Provide the children with balance scales and different shaped containers to encourage them to think mathematically and consider capacity. Let’s not forget the creative little beans, water paints.. what a great way to explore colour and different mediums.

See the Natural Hydration Council for more facts about water and Water Wise Schools.

3. Shade and Shadows

The sunshine provides many opportunities to explore the idea of shadows.

Allow the children to trace around their friend’s shadows outside and decorate them. I wonder if they can make them look like themselves or label the different parts of the body?

4. Seasonal Changes

When it comes to exploring different seasons we always illustrate how our behaviours change.

What is the one thing we always do throughout the summer… cut the grass? I know you cannot allow the children the children to use a lawn mower, but what you can let me use is variety of child friendly cutting tools. Fantastic for fine motor development and they can use their clippings in their art projects or in the mud kitchen.

5. Barbecue Role Play

I love outdoor role play, especially how it encapsulates the ‘outdoorsy’ types of children.

People love to have barbecues in the summer time, so why not create a BBQ role play in the mud kitchen? It is a great opportunity to get those children who love the outdoors engaged in something different and imaginative.

These are just a few simple and easy ideas that you can use in your outside area. Enjoy this time as it comes once a year, don’t waste it by being inside.

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