Ways to get outside this Spring and learn in the Great Outdoors
Nature is truly one of the best educators, and getting outside provides your family with so many incredible health benefits. This Spring, you can take to the great outdoors more often by planning some new and exciting activities that the whole family will enjoy. Whether you are homeschooling your children or just need a break from all of the electronics, we have compiled plenty of options to learn outside. The beauty of escaping into nature to learn is that it tends to silence the noise of the constant of our world and allows us to breathe deep the air that surrounds us. Learning in nature allows your kids to practice exploring new environments and learn how nature works away from a textbook’s pages. This article will set you up with multiple activities you and your family can do to learn and grow outside this Spring. The possibilities of learning in nature are endless, and the hope is that this article will give you a solid foundation of where to start.
Nature Color Walk
Choose a color for the day and simply play a game of I spy for that exact color while you are on your hike. Kids can document what they find by snapping a photo or drawing a quick sketch. On your Nature Color Walk, you can also use crayons and a piece of
paper to create three columns for various colors.
For example, divide your paper into green, orange, and brown; as you find nature elements that match the color, you can tape them to your sheet. Make sure you and your kids are aware of plants such as poison oak and poison ivy. Leaves of three, let it be!
Grab a small journal from your local dollar store or make one out of supplies you have lying around your house. The important aspect of nature journaling is getting out in nature allows your kids to document what they see and begin to ask questions. For example, you can let your kids take a second and look at all of the nature that exists below their feet.
Pinecones, leaves, tiny animals, and more open up neverending exploration opportunities for your kids. As children explore, they will begin to ask questions and learn without even realizing it. Providing your child with a nature journal allows them to sketch out what they see and jot down bullet points about what questions they may have that you all can search later. Nature Journaling will enable kids to be in charge of their learning and uncover new information about subjects that interest them.
After a light rain that turns dirt into mud, you will uncover an entirely new world on the ground below you. Tread lightly as you search for tracks of all shapes and sizes imprinted in the mud. You can buy a track id book or print a guide off the line to help you and your family identify what tracks belong to different animals. More often than not, you will be able to follow animals and see patterns in the various ecosystems you visit.
Up Close and Personal with Nature
Have kids use four of their five senses to uncover the world around them. They can use sight to watch for wildlife and watch the water ripple in the lake nearby. They can use their sense of sound by closing their eyes and counting on their hand all of the noises they listen to. They can use their sense of smell by taking a big whiff of the crisp
morning air or how the smells differ after heavy rain. They can use their sense of touch by finding different textures on their nature hike.