Spring outdoor learning: five great activities

Posted on | Posted in Education

The benefits of spring outdoor learning  

As we move into spring and start enjoying some welcome hints of sunshine, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about how you can optimise spring outdoor learning within your school.  

As well as offering a fun and exciting way to learn, spring activities for EYFS (early years foundation stage) children can work wonders for their development. Spending time outside helps stimulate the senses, promotes better physical health and helps children work on their social skills and confidence. One study even suggested that kids who spend more time outdoors experience fewer mental health problems as adults.      

So, stepping outside of the classroom and into the great outdoors is a no brainer. But what should you do? Read on for our top five ideas for making the most out of spring outdoor lessons.  

Outdoor spring lesson plans  

Gardening  

Why not start a springtime growing project? Gardening is an ideal activity for schoolchildren. It connects them with the natural world, introduces them to processes like photosynthesis and is a little messy, which kids tend to love!   

Even if you’re low on space, a window box or small planter can provide enough room for groups of children to get involved in prepping soil, planting seeds and watering. You could try growing tomatoes, herbs or peas, or any colourful springtime flowers. 

Wildlife watching  

Birdwatching is a great way to introduce children to local wildlife. You could make a bird feeder or nest box to tempt birds to your school and create a handy checklist for children to tick off when they spot them.  

If wildlife is sparse around your school, you could watch for creepy crawlies instead – a great way to showcase to children the variety of different species that exist among us. Get crafty and have the class create a ‘bug hotel’ to attract insects, using things like old bricks, twigs and leaves.  

Painting  

Taking art lessons outside is a wonderful way to spend an hour or two on a sunny spring day. Make the most of the different surroundings and have children paint a landscape picture or a specific leaf or stone they’ve found.  

Fancy getting even more creative? Have the children find a rock to transform into a different animal – ladybirds or bumblebees are simple yet charming options. Or use any leaves you find as stamps to create some abstract paintings.  

Chalks 

Chalks are another excellent arty option. Your playground offers the perfect blank canvas and there’s a tonne of different ways you can use chalks to get creative – the sky’s the limit! The best part is, it’s not permanent and washes away easily with water, or you can just wait for the rain to do the clean-up for you.  

Some chalk activities you could enjoy are collaborating on a class artwork where everyone gets to contribute creatively, creating simple games like hopscotch or noughts and crosses, or practising handwriting and spelling.   

Active games  

Kids generally have a whole lot of energy, especially when cooped up indoors, so getting them outside to burn some of it off is often very welcome in spring! Take your PE lessons outdoors and let your class get some fresh air in alongside their exercise.    

There are loads of games you could play depending on the equipment you have. Anything that involves a lot of running around tends to be popular among younger kids, like ball games or tag. You could also get everyone involved in a game of skipping, tug of war or hula hooping. 

We hope we’ve given you some great ideas for spring outdoor learning in schools.  

Incorporating outdoor play in schools has a whole host of benefits, so why not find out more about our outdoor classrooms and canopies for schools? Or contact us on 01254 777 002 or info@canopiesuk.co.uk.