Outdoor Learning Activities with Free Printables

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Outdoor learning activities and games are trendy among children, especially during the summer holidays. Children benefit a great deal from spending time outside exploring and adventuring in the green outdoors.

Outdoor learning activities

Getting kids outside and active is important, and luckily nature offers a wealth of fun activities for them to enjoy. Hiking trails, observational scavenger hunts, and camping trips are all great ways to get kids outside and teach them about the environment.

For younger children, consider exploring local parks to search for different types of leaves, rocks, and insects. Children can also participate in planting their own garden, bird watching, or building a fort. Additionally, activities like bug catching, fishing, and doing nature-related arts and crafts can be both educational and enjoyable.

There are endless possibilities for fun hands-on activities in nature for kids. Some ideas include building a fort using branches and leaves, creating a nature scavenger hunt, making mud pies or sculptures, creating leaf rubbings, planting a garden, collecting and identifying rocks and shells, learning to tie knots with rope, building a birdhouse or bird feeder, going on a nature photography scavenger hunt, and making outdoor art with found materials like sticks, pinecones, and leaves. The options are endless, and getting outside and exploring nature can provide a great opportunity for kids to learn and have fun at the same time.

Maria Montessori, founder of the Montessori Method, believed in the importance of nature for a child’s development. She once said, “The land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth.” Montessori also believed that nature can foster a child’s curiosity and love for learning, stating, “The study of the science of nature at once awakens this feeling of reverence and provides an outlet for it.” She emphasized the need for children to be connected to the natural world, as it can inspire creativity, imagination, and a sense of wonder.

The Montessori approach believes that nature and outdoor experiences are essential for children’s development. It fosters children’s connection with their environment, providing opportunities for exploration, observation, and appreciation of natural phenomena. The outdoor setting allows children to experience a sense of wonder, awe, and curiosity, which in turn stimulates their cognitive, emotional, and spiritual growth.

Montessori schools incorporate nature-based activities, such as gardening, hiking, and camping, as part of their curriculum, helping children develop a sense of responsibility for the planet and a positive attitude towards sustainability. Overall, nature is seen as a rich source of learning and inspiration for children in Montessori education.

Montessori schools emphasize nature-based activities that foster children’s love and respect for the environment. These activities include exploring the woods, gardening, hiking, bird-watching, and observing insects. Children learn about animal habitats, plant growth, natural cycles, and the importance of conservation. Children also participate in activities that encourage them to use their senses, such as smelling flowers, touching leaves, and listening to bird calls. These activities promote children’s physical, intellectual, and emotional development, and help them connect with the natural world. Through nature-based activities in Montessori schools, children become responsible and knowledgeable citizens.

Nature’s classroom is fascinating and incredibly diverse. These ideas will inspire you to spend some fun and meaningful time with your child outdoors.

nature craft for kids

Fine motor activities – supply threads, a needle, and nature objects (dry berries, chestnuts, flower buds) and invite the children to thread them to make garlands or natural decorations for the child’s playroom or classroom.

nature craft for kids

Gather leaves and other natural loose parts to create a craft.

nature craft for kids

nature craft for kids

nature craft

nature craft

nature craft for kids

Magic wands with sticks and woolen threads. Gather different color woolen threads. Invite the children to cut strings and wrap sticks in different color woolen threads.

nature craft for kids

Leaf art. Gather acrylic paints, threads, a needle, and brushes. Invite the children to gather leaves and paint creating various patterns. After drying, invite the child to thread leaves to make garlands.

nature craft for kids

Building fortress with sticks. Invite the child to gather sticks and build a fortress.

nature craft for kids

Help the environment. Gather garbage bags and rubber gloves. Head to the popular public outdoor spaces and invite the child to hunt for loose papers and plastic bottles to help clean up.

nature craft for kids

Gather old pans and pots along with measuring cups and scooping tools. Allow access to mud and water. Invite the children to dig and make their hands dirty to have sensory play outdoors.

nature craft for kids

On a windy day, gather kites for the children to run kites outdoors.

Deciduous trees & Coniferous trees Montessori Nature Free Printable sort

More Inspiration for Outdoor Learning and Play

Nature Themed Activities - Learning Resources, Free Printables and Children's Books

Free Printables Designed by Montessori Nature

  About Anastasia. Anastasia is a former Early Childhood Teacher and the founder of Montessori Nature, a blog about Montessori - inspired and Nature-based explorations. She taught in a Montessori setting for 10 years and has been practicing the Montessori way of learning and living for the last 20 years. She loves designing engaging educational printables for children. Browse Anastasia's educational resources on Teachers Pay Teachers.

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