4 Fun and Easy Ideas for Backyard Learning
Whether or not you’re a homebody, there’s a good chance your kids spend a lot of time at home. Maybe you homeschool, or your kids are young and not in school yet, or you just have lots of time after school and on the weekends. Sometimes you need new ideas (or something that triggers an old idea you’d forgotten about) to keep play fresh and exciting. Especially as the weather gets colder, and kids tend to spend more time inside. These Ideas for Backyard Learning will give you ideas to get your kids outside and playing, while learning at the same time!
4 Ways to Encourage Learning in Your Own Backyard
Scavenger Hunt (cognitive learning)
You can do a nature scavenger hunt, and have your kids look for sticks, leaves, stones, etc. The link takes you to a free printable option!
You can hide toys, blocks, or letters outside. If you want, you could create clues to find the things, or you could just give the kids a list of the ten items you hid.
Or you could choose a letter (‘S’ for example), and then go outside and find as many things as possible that start with that letter (like stone, stick, sunflower, seed, etc).
Obstacle Course (cognitive/motor skills learning)
Even the smallest yard can be turned into an obstacle course. Have you watched the Bluey Obstacle Course episode? Their family created a cute little obstacle course that would be relatively easy to recreate.
This one is so easy, because you don’t have to do any prep if you don’t want to. You could just say: “Run around the tree twice, frog hop to the swing, crawl under the swing, go up and down the stairs, and touch the side of the house.”
But, you could also add obstacles, like running around an empty baby pool, stepping on some stepping stones, crawling under a chair, etc.
**Even Better Idea: You build the first obstacle course and have your kids run it. Then, have your kids create an obstacle course and you run it with them!**
Water Painting (cognitive learning & creativity)
Give kids large paintbrushes + a bucket of water or squirt bottles and let them ‘paint’ on sidewalks, driveways, or pretty much anywhere, because it disappears as soon as it dries 🙌
If you’re studying certain letters or numbers, have them use squirt bottles to draw the letter, or paintbrushes to paint the letter. They could paint or squirt addition problems, etc. So many options and ideas for this one!
Bring the Inside to the Outside
There are obviously a few toys that just aren’t meant to be outside, like stuffed animals and such. But so many toys that our kids play with inside can be played with outside too. Here’s a few ideas:
- Magnetic Tiles: many garage doors are magnetic, and kids can use tiles to construct designs on the door!
- Blocks: duplo blocks, mega blocks, etc can be used to build cities in the dirt or grass. They’re completely WASHABLE.
- Cars: cars and vehicles are perfect for sending down the slide and having huge slide races!
Most ‘play’ is a form of learning (cognitive, motor skills, creativity, etc), but we all need some new and fresh ideas sometimes. Hopefully these give you some ideas to keep kids playing outside even as it gets colder. 🍁
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