Bright summer skies are so tempting for kids (and even adults!) to go outside and have fun in the sun’s rays. Summer breaks are filled with memories of playing outside and coming home dirty and tan. What better way to spend the summer than with fun learning activities?
Nature is the world’s best teacher and there are so many ways to exercise your child’s brain from the comfort of your own backyard!
Why Is Learning Outdoors Important?
One of the most commonly asked questions by students is “How is what I’m learning relevant to the real world?” Well when you're in nature, you are in the real world. Kids can see the real value of certain concepts by understanding how they function in real life.
Learning about waves? Try skipping a rock in the pond and see the ripples that form.
Learning about shapes? How many different shapes do you see in the plants and flowers around you?
Learning about electricity? How about utilizing the sun to power a small device.
When you're outside, you don't need to make the effort to teach; rather, let nature do the demonstrations for you. Being outside allows kids to embrace their curiosity about the world and allows learning to occur naturally!
What Are Some Activities I Can Do With My Kids?
Playing outside is probably a tactile learner’s most favorite lesson. One of the most fun and easy projects is making a mud pie!
You can gather dirt and water in a hole or a pan, and mix it together to make yourself the perfect mud pie.
Decorate it with pebbles, flowers, leaves – anything you find outside. Then let it “bake” in the summer sun. Ask your child what happens when the “pie” is left in the sun.
Is it still soft and gooey? Or is it hard and heavy? Why did that happen?
Another great activity is a nature scavenger hunt. Find certain flowers, leaves, or trees in your backyard and neighborhood and tape them onto a piece of paper.
Then, ask your child to find where it came from! To make it a little more challenging, you can write clues for each object and ask your child to find it based on the clues.
Grow A Garden
For kids a little bit older, gardening is a great way to learn about how plants grow and what they need in order to grow. Gardening also teaches responsibility and patience because your child has to remember to water the plants every day and wait for the plant to bloom.
Are There Any Less Messy Activities?
For parents seeking to avoid a mess, learning outside does not have to be crossed completely off the list. The beauty of nature is that there is so much to learn just by observing it!
Take a walk and practice numbers by counting how many flowers there are in a bush or leaves on a branch. This can also help them identify different plant life.
Learn about ecosystems by going to a pond nearby and writing down the life forms you see – plants, algae, tadpoles, fishes, birds, the list goes on!
Or just throw a towel on the grass and lay down, looking up at the clouds! Let your child’s imagination run free as they find different shapes and objects formed by the clouds.
Planets and Stars
When the sun goes down, stay outside and look at the stars. Take out the telescope and see if you can find any planets or identify any constellations.
… or take your DIY activities and projects outside!
Instead of being cooped up in the house all day long, take your DIY projects outside.
Coloring and Painting
Get creative by bringing your coloring books and painting canvas with you. Bring the learning flashcards or board games and sit outside on the porch.
Build a Birdhouse
Build a simple birdhouse together. This can help teach them critical thinking skills, safety, and how to care for animals. Just taking in the fresh air outside can help get those creative juices going!
Want to know about another fun and creative activity you can bring outside? With a Boon-Dah’s DIY STEM kit, your kids can learn how to make a sprinkler for their garden or generate electricity in different ways!
Get creative with your kids and learn outside this summer. There are so many different opportunities that are fun and educational.
Get your DIY kits out, go on a hike, and start helping your kids develop critical thinking skills with these fun learning activities.