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Prepare fun and engaging educational outdoor activities and nature-based experiences for your children. Now sure where to start? Use our seven-day outdoor learning pre-filled planner to get inspired!
Do we have to make every experience outdoors “educational”? We really do not.
The most valuable advantages children receive as a result of spending time in nature are exercise, a dose of fresh air, being able to experience a sense of freedom, and learning spontaneous risk assessment.
However, the question is: “Is a standard classroom setting the most ultimate and effective environment for children’s intentional learning to occur?”
In my personal experience, implementing learning activities that children would normally acquire in the classroom outdoors can be very effective, fun and beneficial for mental health for the child and for the educator.
I and my husband are homeschoolers by choice (it’s a new term I never thought I’d need to use).
Going hiking, exploring national parks and venturing outdoors using any chance we get is something we often do as a family. I also take my children to do intentional learning in nature on a regular basis.
Here is what one day of nature schooling looks like with my three children.
I am not a biologist, and chances are, many children aren’t going to be either. So making learning naturalistic is not going to fit every child’s interest and call to their intrinsic motivation.
Hence, I aim to make it broader and touch on various curriculum subjects. I also heavily rely on children to show me the direction I should lead them.
I plan and prepare for three activities and leave the rest up to them to decide.
1. Drawing from observation. I normally take watercolors. Pencils, pens and crayons are an obvious choice too. We settle in one place, each takes a turn to tell me what they observe and we aim to pick the most interesting details to include in the painting.
The best way to engage children is to join them as well, however, I find it harder to assist them in case they need my help if I do. The most appealing part is that children of different ages can participate and enjoy it equally as much.
2. Weaving. Prepare a weaving frame in advance at home or make one on a go. We use four solid sticks and string to make one. It’s a great opportunity to teach older children to make knots.
Then children are invited to search for nature objects to weave into the frame. Bring it home with you. It will make a beautiful piece of decoration. Children can add new items to it in the future.
3. Leaf prints. If we already have paints with us, it only makes sense to work on another art activity.
On this particular day, I had something completely different planned. This painting activity was initiated by my son, he had it all going so I went with the flow.
This activity suits the youngest children best. If you wish to give it a go, invite the child to collect a few different leaf shapes, paint them and make prints on paper.
Most likely, if asked, every person will admit to enjoying spending time in nature. Our mind and body equally feel refreshed and get a great boost of energy after venturing outdoors.
However, when we decide to take learning outdoors, we can get stuck trying to imagine what it might look like and where to start. People are mostly accustomed to thinking that learning happens within four walls. Today educators and parents are actively shifting this perception and frankly, they are doing an amazing job!
We start seeing schools opening their classrooms for students to spend more time in the fresh air, we see homeschool coops taking their children outdoors and allowing them to get their hands dirty with glorious mud.
My daughter has attended Natureweavers Forest School in Australia. Based on what she told me about her adventures with Carly, I can confidently say that those days have become some of the most fulfilling days of her childhood.
Now all my children get a fresh dose of vitamin N practically on daily bases enjoying free play and discovery. As I mentioned earlier, we also regularly go to do homeschool learning out in nature.
And I have to admit, it is not always easy to come up with engaging hands-on ideas children would enjoy doing outdoors that complement and extend their learning about the outside world.
I’ve got a solution I hope will make educators’ and parents’ task of taking learning in nature a lot easier – my seven-day planner with outdoor explorations.
I thought of three activities a day you can plan and prepare to do with your students in nature. These are fun and brush up on a few curriculum subjects. I invite you to download the outdoor activity planner from the Subscriber Library.
You may like to check my other resources
Nature Curriculum in Cards is an ever-growing bundle with resources that cover major Botany, Zoology, and Geography subjects, plus also includes Nature-Themed Early Learning resources.
This bundle contains 50 Nature Curriculum in Cards printables at a discounted price. Click here to see the whole list of resources included.
860+ pages in total
The Nature Curriculum in Cards series is designed to minimize the cost, the use of materials and resources such as paper and laminating sheets. You do not have to cut out individual control cards and definition cards.
Use the pages with control cards and description cards as work mats. This allows teachers and parents to save time and effort when preparing hands-on learning activities for their students.
Each printable may contain:
– a work mat with control cards
– a work mat with description cards
– a set of picture and label cards (matching photograph or clip art cards)
– student printouts for practicing handwriting with the black and white version of the same photographs or with clip art for coloring. You get an option of choosing printouts with print, cursive tracing fonts, or blank for independent writing;
Pre-K and K students can be invited to work with a set for matching and sorting.
Primary students can use a work mat with control cards as the self-assessment sheet. Beginner readers can use it to match the picture to the picture and the word to the word.
Lower Elementary Students can use a work mat with definition card
s. Invite the student to read a definition and find matching picture and label cards. Invite them to use the first work mat with control cards for self-assessment.
Laminate and store all learning activity mats in one binder. Store the picture cards, label cards, and student printouts in a clear pocket following each work mat activity.
Attach clear velcro dots to the back of the cards for younger students or when doing activities outdoors.
Alternatively, you may decide to cut out control and description cards and store 3-part cards in a traditional Montessori way.
Please refer to an individual printable description to learn about the content of each printable.
The printable set is suitable for children aged 3-8
This is a growing bundle, meaning that the price will increase for every resource that I add. The earlier you buy, the more you get for free!
Free Printables From Montessori Nature
- Pine Tree Life Cycle
- Made By Nature Made By Humans Sorting
- Penguin Life Cycle And Parts Of A Penguin
- Characteristics Of The Polar Bear
- My Word Of The Year New Year Free Printable
- Physical And Chemical Changes Pairing Fine Motor With Pegs
- Christmas Playdough Mats
- Christmas 3 Part Cards
- Christmas Matching Fine Motor With Pegs
- 10 Deciduous Trees And 10 Coniferous Trees Sorting Cards
- Fall Playdough Mats
- Christmas in Australia
- Free DIY Art Puzzles Coloring Pages Printables – Silent Night by Viggo Johansen
- Signs of Winter
- Matching Fine Motor With Pegs The Nutcracker Free Christmas printable
- Free DIY Puzzles And Coloring Pages – Raphael The Sistine Madonna
- Fall Leaf Shapes Match Up With Pegs
- Raccoon life cycle and parts of a raccoon
- Animal Hibernation & Torpor Cards
- 10 Farm Cards And 10 Forest Sorting Cards
- Pairing Fine Motor With Pegs – Thankful Animals
- Corn Plant Life Cycle And Parts Of A Corn Plant
- Types Of Apples
- Turkey Life Cycle And Parts Of A Turkey
- Fall Prewriting Practice – Free Fine Motor Printable
- Free DIY Puzzles And Coloring Pages – Paul Cezanne Still Life Painting Curtain, Jug And Fruit Bowl
- Fall Pin Punching And Tracing Cards
- Characteristics Of The Red Squirrel
- Fall Match Up Initial Sounds With Pegs
- Fall Match Up Rhyming Words With Pegs
- Fall Leaves And Fall Flowers
- Fall Match Up Opposites With Pegs
- 10 Types Of Vertebrates And 10 Types Of Invertebrates Fall Printable
- Fall Match Up With Pegs
- Types Of Exotic Apples 3-Part Cards, Posters, Student Booklet
- Sunflower Activities
- 10 Types Of Edible And 10 Types Of Poisonous Mushrooms
- Signs Of Fall – Free Printables, Posters, Cards, Student Booklets
- Cat Life Cycle And Parts Of A Cat
- Apple Life Cycle And Parts Of An Apple
- Woodland Animals Poster Match Up Cards
- Snake Life Cycle And Parts Of A Snake
- 10 Types Of Mammals And 10 Types Of Birds In Autumn
- Octopus Life Cycle And Parts Of An Octopus
- Dog Life Cycle And Parts Of A Dog
- Crab Life Cycle And Parts Of A Crab
- Shark Life Cycle And Parts Of The Shark
- Color, Cut Out, Build, And Label The Ant
- Color, Cut Out, Build, And Label The Fish
- Gemstones 3 Part Cards
- Wild Animal Families Puzzles And Cards
- Forest Matching Cards – Free Nature Printable
- Beach Poster, Match Up Cards – Free Printables
- Whale Size Comparison Poster, Match Up Cards
- DIY Puzzles And Coloring Pages – Vincent Van Gogh Vase With Twelve Sunflowers
- 10 Types Of Vertebrates And 10 Types Of Invertebrates
- Seahorse Life Cycle And Parts Of The Seahorse
- Coral Reef Animals Poster, Match Up Cards
- 10 Types Of Terrestrial Mammals And 10 Types Of Marine Mammals – Free Summer Printable
- Elephant Life Cycle And Parts Of An African Elephant
- Zebra Life Cycle And Parts Of A Zebra
- 10 Types Of Butterflies And 10 Types Of Ladybugs – Free Sorting Printable
- Parts Of A Grasshopper And Grasshopper Life Cycle
- Parts Of A Bear And Types Of Bears
- Chicken Life Cycle And Parts Of A Chicken Embryo
- Skip Counting Student Helper Posters And Worksheets s
- Deer Life Cycle And Parts Of A Deer
- Number Tracing And Formation Activity
- Mushroom Life Cycle 3 Part Cards, Poster And Blackline
- Sums With Bead Bars – Clip Cards And Worksheets With Teen Numbers
- Addition Clip Cards
- Number Bonds – Addition With Bead Bars Sums Of 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, And 10
- Earthworm Life Cycle, Parts Of An Earthworm, 3 Part Cards, Blackline Masters
- Parts Of The Volcano Poster, 3 Part Cards, Blackline Masters
- Parts Of The Snail And Snail Life Cycle Printables
- Parts Of A Bottlenose Dolphin And Dolphin Life Cycle
- Place Value Mats, Task Cards, And Tracing Worksheets
- Hummingbird Learning Activities
- Ladybug Learning Activities
- Turtle Learning Activities
- Gemstones – Posters And Matching Cards
- Nature Journal
- Valentine’s Day Coloring Cards
- Geoboard Task Cards
- Free One Week Planner For Preschool Children With Low Prep Hands-On Activities
- Free Montessori Baby And Toddler Printable Materials
- Flamingo Life Cycle And Parts Of A Flamingo
- DIY Winter Puzzles And Art Activities – Painting “The Starry Night” By Vincent Van Gogh
- Winter Animals
- Arctic Animals
- Owl Life Cycle And Parts Of An Owl
- Squirrel Life Cycle And Parts Of A Squirrel
- Characteristics Of The Emperor Penguin
- Platypus Life Cycle And Parts Of A Platypus
- Macaw Life Cycle And Parts Of A Macaw
- Polar Bear Life Cycle And Parts Of A Polar Bear
- Giraffe Life Cycle And Parts Of A Giraffe
- Hedgehog Life Cycle And Parts Of A Hedgehog
- Bat Life Cycle And Parts Of A Bat
- DIY Winter Puzzles And Art Activities – Painting “Maslenitsa” By Boris Kustodiev
- Butterflies And Moths Sort
- Types Of Flowers Match Up
- Poppy Life Cycle And Parts Of The Red Poppy
- Silent E Learning To Read Cards
- Addition And Subtraction Cards – Single Digits
- Rabbit Life Cycle And Parts Of A Rabbit
- Animals In Spring – Activities, Resources, And Free Printables
- Multiplication Charts
- Lined Writing Paper Handwriting Practice
- Blue Jay Life Cycle And Parts Of A Blue Jay
- Giant Panda Life Cycle And Parts Of A Giant Panda
- Manatee Life Cycle And Parts Of A Manatee
- Nocturnal And Diurnal Animals Sort
- Viviparous And Oviparous Animals Sort
- Mothers And Their Young Animals Sort
- Constellations And Planets Sort
- Farm Animal Families Puzzles
- The Earth Goes Around The Sun – Free Geography Printable
- Pea Plant Life Cycle And Parts Of A Pea Plant
- Tulip Life Cycle And Parts Of A Tulip
- Tomato Life Cycle And Parts Of A Tomato Plant