I love homeschooling. Honest, I do-until May. You know all that talk about kids getting buggy in school and having trouble concentrating once the weather warms up. That’s me!! If you can relate then this list of outdoor educational activities is for you!
I don’t want to be inside explaining long division while the sun is warm and the freshly tilled ground is calling my name. I can hear them beckoning to me while the kids recite memory verses. The leaves are bursting open, bright green on the lilac bushes, while I patiently listen to them read.
The breeze coming in through the open window has the scent of freshly cut grass (and unfortunately cow manure!) and here I sit teaching verbs and capitalization. I think this is the very definition of spring fever!
Outdoor Educational Activities to the Rescue
My solution? Move school outdoors with a variety of educational activities.
This may be a little tricky as I have a toddler who is in full exploration mode, but we are going to try it anyway. Do you want to join me? Here are some tips to get you started.
Outdoor Classroom Activities as Easy as Finding a Place to Enjoy Reading
A tree, a comfy bench, a porch swing, or a blanket on the grass will do just fine. Relax in the sunshine (or shade if you live where it is hot) and enjoy the fresh air and change of scenery. This works for family read alouds, cuddles with preschoolers, or oral reading with older kids.
Most schoolwork can be brought outside also. Memorize math facts while playing hopscotch, divide and multiply with rocks and pinecones, use adjectives to describe the nouns you can see and hear. The possibilities of outdoor educational activities are endless!
I often feel as if learning is less prohibited while outside. Capitalize on that with outdoor educational activities! Drawing nature, collecting wildflowers, writing stories, and examining the tiny elements that make up our world.
Allow your children time to meander and experience with their senses the beautiful world God has created for us.
Plan Ahead for your Spring Fever
Make your school calendar work for you AND your spring fever. Is it possible to finish your school year by May? How about skipping spring break and getting out a week early?
Do you school through the summer? Take May off to enjoy the weather and then hit the books again once you’ve walked around barefoot, played in the dirt, and picnicked at the local parks for a month.
Start your school year early. In some places, August is too hot to be outside anyway. Here, I am busy harvesting my garden so it isn’t practical for me.
Plan your Curriculum to Include Outdoor Educational Activities
Last year we began our Apologia Botany textbook in March and we all enjoyed the many outdoor experiments through the spring and summer. (Check out my Apologia Botany review for more info!)
Outdoor learning adventure ideas? You bet! Here is a list to get you brainstorming your May science lessons.
- insect hunt and identification
- leaf and tree bark identification
- tree and leaf rubbings make a cool art project
- plant a vegetable garden
- plant flower seeds
- raise butterflies (Check out How to Raise a Butterfly)
- explore various ecosystems-fields, marshy areas, river beds, lakes
- bird identification
- build a bird feeder
- put up hummingbird feeders
- create a butterfly garden
- a nature scavenger hunt
- study rocks
- dig for dinosaur bones (be sure to bury something for them to find!)
Change your Daily Routine to Include Outdoor Educational Activities
Get the book work finished by lunch and play outside until you must parent again and feed the hungry munchkins. Or maybe the morning is perfect and a few hours of playtime outside before you focus on figures of speech, adverbs, laundry, and dishes are in order. In my opinion, it makes for a nice change.
We already know the importance of fresh air and exercise in helping us concentrate and our overall performance. I also find that it helps improve bad attitudes and grumpiness.
Need help scheduling your homeschool day? Check out “How to Create a Homeschool Schedule that Works”
Eat Your Meals Outside
Ok, so this isn’t an outdoor educational activity, BUT they have to eat. I know this because I spend a great deal of time preparing food and they spend a lot of energy asking for snacks. Why not eat outside? Pack a picnic for under a shady tree or eat on the porch. Take a break from your work and snack on apples, seeing who can throw their core the furthest.
Eating outside is a bit of an adventure here because our hens beg worse than the dog does. As soon as they see we are eating, they come running over, squawking and flapping their wings. We throw them snacks and laugh as they chase each other around, trying to get more of the treat than their sisters.
Need More Outdoor Educational Activities?
How are you feeling about spring fever now? Which of these outdoor educational activities did you like the best?
Check out these great posts for more ideas!
How to do a Nature Study in the City Homeschool Gardens
Gardening with Kids Homeschool Gardens
8 Crazy Amazing Outdoor Classrooms Homeschool Super Freak
Planning the Home Garden Homeschool on the Range
How to get Ready for Roadschooling, Homeschooling on the Go They Call Me Blessed
10 Free Outdoor Activities for when the Walls Close In by Stacy Pardoe
Four Reasons to Take Your Kids into the Woods Stacy Pardoe
It’s your turn! How do you embrace spring in your homeschool? What outdoor educational activities would you include in this list?