As the weather warms up and the days get longer, kids are itching to spend more time outside. Spring outdoor learning activities are a great way to keep your children engaged and excited about learning while having fun in the fresh air. From scavenger hunts and bug hunts to nature walks and gardening projects, there are lots of activities kids of all ages can explore in the world around them.
1. Nature Scavenger Hunt
A nature scavenger hunt can be done in the backyard, at a nearby park, or on a hiking trail. Create a list of items for your child to search for such as leaves, wildflowers, trees, rocks, feathers, insects, and other commonly found items in nature. As your child discovers each item, they can mark it off the list.
Not only is this a fun way to explore the great outdoors, but it also encourages children to use their observational skills.
2. Backyard Camping
You don’t have to travel to a campground or load up the minivan to enjoy a fun camping experience. Bring the campsite right to your backyard to let your kids sleep under the stars.
Have them help pack the necessary items and set up the campsite. Encourage them to create their own ghost stories to tap into their creativity. Cook food over the fire to engage their culinary practices. Consider doing some stargazing as well to learn about astronomy.
Gardening is an incredible activity to involve your child in as it’s something they can continue doing all season long. Nurturing and growing food and plants will help your child learn responsibility and gives them a sense of accomplishment.
Take them on a trip to a garden store to choose which seeds they want to plant and then start your own family garden together. Make each day exciting as they tend to it.
4. Collect Insects
While parents may be annoyed by pesky insects in the springtime, it presents a learning opportunity for kids. This educational activity can be a project done throughout the season as parents encourage kids to collect insects they see. Whenever they find a new bug, look up what it is together and discover more about them.
5. Bird Watching
Spring is the perfect time of year for bird watching and it can be a calming way to enjoy learning outdoors. Purchase a bird-watching book or borrow one from a local library and look up the different birds your child spots and learn about each one.
Not only is it an opportunity to teach children about different birds and species, but it can open up a conversation about mental health. Bird watching has long been associated with stress relief.
6. Cloud Gazing
Another relaxing nature activity to participate in with your child is cloud gazing. On a cloudy day, take a blanket outside and study the sky. This activity is perfect for engaging in conversation as you both share what you see. Encourage your child to see what shape the clouds take.
It’s also a good opportunity to discuss weather patterns and the purpose clouds serve in the environment.
7. Puddle Jumping
Spring is notoriously known for being quite rainy in many places. Instead of forgoing outdoor education activities on a rainy day, jump right into the fun. Get out the rain boots and the raincoat and search for places to go puddle jumping.
Bring along a ruler and measure the depth of each puddle. Have your kids compare and contrast how the depth impacted the jumps.
8. Painting With Mud
Another great way to have fun in rainy spring weather is to make art with mud. While this might be a better activity to do after rainfall, bring a piece of poster board or large paper outdoors and see what your kids can create with the mud. They’ll have to engage their creative senses to make a picture with just one color or can do some arts and crafts using surrounding items.
9. Drawing With Sidewalk Chalk
Take art time outdoors during spring with some sidewalk chalk. With a large blank canvas, kids have more freedom to be creative. Plus, it gives kids an opportunity to work together on a single art project.
You can also choose to go a different route and instead have them create games. Whether they decide to draw hopscotch or four-square or make up their own game, it’s a great way to get them moving.
10. Nature Hike
A nature hike is a great way to encourage kids to explore the natural world around them and learn more about plants, animals, and the environment. Different from a nature scavenger hunt, your kid can take the lead on finding what interests them.
Encourage your kids to explore what they see, ask questions, and keep a nature journal. This is a perfect opportunity to put kids in charge of their own learning and allows them to gravitate toward what they want to know more about.
11. Blowing Bubbles
Blowing bubbles is one of the quintessential outdoor activities. While it’s a fun way to play, engage in some science by teaching your kids how to make their own bubble mixture. Mix ½ cup of dish soap with 1½ cups of water and then add 2 tablespoons of sugar. Using leftover wands, dip them into the mixture and your kids have their very own bubbles.
You don’t have to scratch your head this season thinking about how to keep your kids occupied. With these spring outdoor learning activities for kids, you’ll engage in fun and education.
This article was written exclusively for Love What Matters by Kate Fann. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
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