With plenty of spare time to fill during the school summer holidays, finding some new, fun ways to encourage your kids to learn is always a bonus. Outdoor learning experiences are an excellent way for your children to get outside and enjoy nature, all at the same time as learning something slightly different to what they might do in the classroom. In fact, research has shown that outdoor learning not only helps boost children’s confidence, social skills, and communication but builds up motivation, physical skills, knowledge and understanding. Here’s our four favourite outdoor learning experiences for your kids to enjoy this summer.
1.Plant A Garden
Planting a garden is one of the best educational summer experiences for kids because there are so many benefits. Firstly, it’s a wonderful way for kids to embrace and learn about nature, where our food comes from and the scientific process involved in growing. It’s also very rewarding and your kids will probably enjoy knowing their actions helped make things grow. We love the idea of starting a family vegetable garden from scratch or building up a small flower or plant patch. Ask your kids to research what they would like to grow, what they’ll need before planting and whether the seeds need to be in direct sunlight or not – this way they can start learning all about the science behind growing and nature in general. Having the responsibility of looking after their own garden and watching their seeds gradually grow throughout the summer is also a great way for them to learn through hands-on experience.
2.Plan a Beach/Park Clean-Up
Most kids love a day out at the beach or local park, which is why it’s important to encourage them to also take care of it. Organise a litter walk or beach clean at one of the spots you all like to visit regularly. You could even get the whole family involved or invite your child’s friends and parents too. With adult supervision, gloves and some bin bags, get them to look out for and collect any litter, food, discarded toys, clothes or food containers. Not only does organising something like this benefit the environment, it opens up a great opportunity to educate them on how litter can have a huge effect on the community surrounding it.
Going out on a nature walk is a wonderful way to get your kids learning outdoors this summer. Simply write a list of things they would like to spot or find on their adventure, this can include anything like trees, flowers, birds, leaves and sounds. Once they’re out exploring, we guarantee it will be a really fun experience to try and find certain things by looking, observing or even by taking their own photos. You can even continue the learning indoors too, by encouraging them to research specific things they found interesting or perhaps creating a poster of what they saw during their nature walk would be fun for younger kids.
4.Educational Days Out
If you want to plan a few family days out during the summer break, it is a great opportunity to choose a few places that will be outdoors but also educational too. Zoos, nature reserves and farms are excellent choices, and often they’ll have educational resources or activities specifically for children to complete throughout their visit. Beach days or a trip to a park can also be equally educational, especially if you take the time to find a few resources for them to engage with beforehand. This could be anything from beach safety, things to look out for in the area you’re visiting or just general history of wherever you’re going.