Make Nature Environment the Greatest Learning Playground for Our Children

Kid's outdoor activities do provide an enriching educational value to our children. Participate in such activities involves children to use all their senses. This helps to enhance learning and retain what they have learned easily. It also keeps children healthy.

There is no need to limit ourselves to camping, hiking and fishing for kids outdoor activities. Explore natural surrounding or conduct workshops and lessons outdoor are just some ideas. Such simple activities do not incur much cost and only require minimum preparation. Yet, can be equally fun and interesting to learn something about science.


Outdoor Activities in the Garden

Garden is one of the greatest learning playground and science workshops for kids. There are many uses of a garden to provide learning opportunity for our kids.

Gardening with Kids

If space permits, build a garden in your home. The process of building a garden is already a learning lesson for the kids.
garden at homeMy little learning playground at home.
Children learn about the difference between soils and sand. They observe how plants grow, flower and produce fruits while spending their time tending to the garden. They also learned about the fruit of hard labor.


wormAn adopted crawly pet.
They dig for snails and earthworms after rain. Digging, observing and making discovery in the little garden can keep them occupied for hours. The children discover crawlies and even adopted one of them as a pet.

Explore a Garden

Take a stroll or walk in the garden or park with kids yields many science learning lesson. Make some close observation around the garden. You may find some plants or creatures. Instantly, you can have some interesting science topic for discussion with the kids. Here are some of my personal findings with my kids :
mushroom sprouting in garden
Look around for mushrooms sprouting from the ground after the rainfall. Discuss about how mushrooms are form.

giant ant
Have you ever see an ant that is about one inch in length? This was an interesting discovery I had with my kids during one of our "garden exploration". Start asking questions such as "why is the ant so big?", "what do ants eat?" and "where do ant stay?" to stimulate their thinking skills.

chameleon
How interesting to get a chameleon to post for picture before it scrambles off into the bushes....Bring home the picture and start researching about chameleon with the children.

Pick Natural Materials for Crafts

Many natural materials found in the garden or park can be turn into beautiful craft. Stones can be painted and make into paperweight. Leaves of different shapes can be used for T-Shirt painting. They learn about different types of rock and shapes of leafs in the process.

Attend Workshops in the Garden

You can either organize such a workshop yourself if you have a huge garden or look up any organization which may conduct such workshop for kids.
girl playing with stick insect
We participated in a “Hug a Bug” workshop in the Penang Botanical garden during one of the summer holidays. The children had the opportunity to learn about the different "BUGS"...such as Water Dragon, Bearded Dragon, Pray Mantis, Balled Python Snake, and Stick Insect etc. The kids also had the opportunity to touch, pet and observe the animals and bugs closely.

Picture
My kids learn about spices when they attended a workshop organized by Penang Tropical Spice Garden.







Organize an Outdoor Birthday Party

frog theme birthday party in the garden
Hold a birthday party for your kid in the garden or park for a change. Have a garden or nature related theme for the birthday.
My kids attended one of their friends’ birthday party held in a garden. The theme is Frog. The kids get to learn all about frogs through games, crafts and activities. It is one of the most meaningful birthday parties we ever attended.



Learning at the Beach

kids enjoy themselves at beach
The beach is a great outdoor venue for many activities. Apart from swimming and picnic, some kids' outdoor activities on the beach do provide learning opportunities for our kids too.

Build Sand Castle

Building sand castle comes naturally for most people at the beach. Do get a set of kid’s sand building tools. These tools come in handy whenever my family wants to head to the beach. Alternatively, have some empty bottles, bowls and molds available. These can also do the job.

Simply digging in the sand will keep the kids occupy for hours. From this simple activity, they learn about shapes, textures, properties of sand and water.

Observe Creatures along the Seashore

hermit crabA hermit crab on the beach.
Take a stroll along the shore can be equally interesting. Help your child observes what she can find or see along the beach. You will be amazed at some of the interesting creatures living along the shore.

We found crabs digging holes in the sand - their homes.

colorful seashells
Take some time to admire the beautiful seashells scattered along the seashore. Pick some seashells, if you are allowed to, and let the kids turn them into art pieces when you get home. My kids painted the white seashells and turn them into rainbow color artifact.

Explore Your Toddler’s Senses

If your child is just a toddler and it is her first time at the beach, she may not be warm up to any of these beach activities. You may want to take it slowly.

Encourage her to feel the sand and water as she touches it with her feet and hand. Let her feel the strong wind and sea breeze blowing at her face. This is the time for her to learn and explore using her senses.

Kid's outdoor activities provide many ways for us, as parents, to get kids engage with nature – the Greatest Learning Playground for kids.
 


Comments

10/03/2016 4:33am

I think such outdoor activities are amazing for the kids. Don't you think so?

Reply
10/09/2016 6:22pm

These activities are better than playing on a tablet. This is the right experience we should give our kids to have. The activities will enhance a lot of their skills and learn by themselves. I know that they can learn these in their school, but letting them experience and be independent will help them in the future. The experience will teach them something that a school can never teach.

Reply
10/20/2016 5:41am

Thanks.

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