Is your school planning Take Me Outside Day? Are you interested in providing more outdoor learning opportunities for your learners? Maybe you’re like us and constantly searching for new ideas to get your learners active and connecting with nature. Outdoor learning has become an integral component in our day. Not only do we use these provocations and activities on one special day, but throughout the year as well. Hope this sharing inspires you as many others learning journeys continue to inspire us. Thank you!
“Unless we are willing to encourage our children to reconnect with and appreciate the natural world, we can’t expect them to help protect and take care of it”. David Suzuki
For more information on Take Me Outside Day visit: http://takemeoutside.ca
Mud Painting is a fun and messy play that can include large numbers of individuals of all ages. Mud paint is simply paint and mud mixed together. The mud provides an interesting texture.
Leaf printing is a great way to explore the design of a leaf and begs for further investigation of leaves. We had left over fabric and used it instead of paper this time. Hang it with twine and clothes pins for a beautiful nature display.
Before we made our leaf prints we set out to find different kinds of leaves and identify them with these awesome leaf identification cards which we found here: http://wildflowerramblings.com/homeschooling/leaf-identification-cards-free-printable/
Play clay can be purchased at the dollar store to inspire creativity. We added in loose parts like beads, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, toothpicks, rocks, etc. We also brought out books on bugs, insects and animals for inspiration.
TRANSCIENT NATURE ART
Transcient art is art with loose parts and no paint, pencils or markers. This art can constantly change by adding and taking away of different treasures you can find (loose parts). We ask our learners to search for items like rocks, leaves, pine cones, sticks, flowers, plants, nuts, seeds, sand, dirt, etc. Some simple burlap, picture frames and cork boards provide a simple natural background to display creations.
PAINTING FOUND NATURE ITEMS
Painting pet rocks is a popular outdoor task, but why not paint other treasures you can find like pine cones, leaves, and sticks. Nature is flooded with patterns and painting nature items provides a natural connection to math.
SEARCHING FOR TREE SEEDS AND PLANTING
Searching for and planting tree seeds is an exciting way to connect with nature. Collecting tree seeds in the fall and preparing seeds for planting in February is fairly common. However, we thought we’d try some planting in the fall to see what happens. For more information on planting tree seeds: http://www.wikihow.com/Germinate-Tree-Seeds
NATURE SCAVENGER HUNTS
Scavenger hunts are a simple and fun way to get learners outdoors, active, and inspired to explore and discover. Some simple scavenger hunts can be printed from:http://thebirdfeednyc.com/scavenger-hunts-for-kids/ and http://www.makeandtakes.com/hiking-scavenger-hunt-printable-for-kids
Parachute games like Cat and Mouse are such an inclusive way of getting learners of a variety of ages active and working together. To find a list of parachute games see: http://www.playparachutes.com/pagaac.html
SEARCHING FOR ANIMAL HOMES
Blowing bubbles is fun especially for early learners. Try something new and provide your learners with sticks, string, pipe cleaners and other materials that your learners can create their own bubble wands. This way the provocations is turned it into a STEM activity and engages the innovators in your group.
Take Me Outside Day is a rich way for a school community, classroom or group to come together, be active, and connect with nature. I hope you feel encouraged to try something new and perhaps take your learners a little more.