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5 Simple Outdoor Learning Activities

“Mommy! Look at this flower petal! Do you see it?”

Have you noticed that children show excitement over everything? They point out every bird they see in the sky, every rock on the ground and every tiny ant that crawls across the sidewalk. Our children are teaching us a very important lesson.

STOP! Take a minute and enjoy the world around you.

Children are learning all the time. You don’t need to spend time preparing lesson plans or spending a lot of money on expensive materials. There is so much that children can learn when they are outside, and if you are with them, you can facilitate a plethora of learning experiences.

An important component of Early Childhood Education is called scaffolding. This is where a teacher (or parent) places learning items purposefully throughout an environment. When we are outside, nature does the “scaffolding” for us! Our environment, both indoors and outdoors, provides indefinite opportunities to learn.

The second most important component of Early Childhood Education is Facilitation. Once objects are in an environment, allow your child to play – experimenting with objects in a variety of ways. To take their knowledge to the “next step” an adult can facilitate learning by asking open-ended questions. Here are 5 simple activities you can do which facilitate learning while outside.

  1. Imaginative Play is something that children love to do. While outside or a nature walk, encourage children to look around and find items that might represent another item that they know. You may be surprised at what they come up with. Ask them what each item is and what they could use it for. Can they think of another way to use the item?

For example:

For the rest of this post, join me over at Minnesota Country Girl where I have the privilege of guest posting for Summer in the Outdoors: A Series of Gardening, Foraging & Nature Studies


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