Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Taking it Outside - 10 suitable activties

It is great to get out into the garden when the weather is lovely.

We like to sit on and around the two loungers we have on the lawn.  Tots or littler ones can play within sight and the older ones can take their lessons in the sun.

I remember one teacher at my primary school who did this occasionally.  At the end of a hot day, she would take us onto the school field and we would sit in a circle for a story while we picked at daisies and the class hamster ran around in the middle of us.  That is one of the only occasions I recall not feeling trapped at a school; of actually being content and happy.

We have been taking some of our Literature work outdoors recently to do similar (no hamster, but the cat likes to take part by rolling around in the sunbeams nearby.)  The kids have taken notes without too much help, answered the questions afterwards without trouble, and generally seemed more motivated in the fresh air.  I had worried that being outside would distract them, that the play equipment would call to them, and they would rush through the answers.  When it did once threaten to go down that road, a quick reminder that we could go indoors if necessary for full focus... or stay out in the sun and play once the work was satisfactorily completed... seemed to do the trick.

10 activities suitable for taking outdoors are:

  1. Reading independently or as a group
  2. Code Hunts - I posted about these here, and also the resources for a Capital Cities Hunt
  3. Times Table Hunts - already posted as above
  4. Rhyme Hunts - give a word and they have to find an object that rhymes e.g. you give bee, they find a tree.
  5. I Spy for children learning letters
  6. I Spy using colours e.g. "I spy with my little eye, something that is blue" for the youngest ones
  7. Chalking answers to times table quizzes on the wall/paving
  8. Chalking answers to spelling tests on the wall/paving
  9. Pretty much any textbook work can be carried out into the garden
  10. Science experiments are so much more fun when set up outside, such as toy cars on a slope of differing angles, or the experiments that must be done outdoors, such as sending up rockets with coke and mentos
Taking our work outdoors also helps to remind the neighbours that we do actually get our heads down for learning.  In fact, when reading Little House in the Big Woods on Monday gone, I heard a small group of much older children come closer to our fence, settled down, and listened in to the story too.  I am thinking of it as my own little bit of Home Ed outreach...

Do you take your work outdoors as soon as the sun peeps out too?  

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