How to take learning outdoors this summer

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As the weather starts to warm up, it is the perfect time to get students out in the playground and encourage them to engage in outdoor learning. On 20th June, community project Project Dirt is aiming to get schools across the country to move outdoors for at least one lesson to make the most of their playgrounds and outdoor spaces. Here are some ideas for topics that you could cover in these lessons.

Green fingers

If you have the space for a school garden, then tending the plants is a perfect way to bring your class outside. Children can help plant and pick vegetables to learn about food and healthy eating, or study flowers to learn about photosynthesis and pollination. There are so many topics that can be covered by getting out into the great outdoors- even an art lesson can be spent drawing a landscape scene or collecting pencil rubbings of the different trees and other textured objects around the playground.

Get active

Children will regularly go outside for sports lessons, but why not think outside the box and find a new hobby to try and encourage all children to take part in? Make the most of your outdoor space by arranging some shooting sports or perhaps a treasure hunt with some objects to collect. For another fun way to get active you could create an obstacle course around your playground equipment and host a timed circuit challenge- make it more fun by getting staff involved and having teams of children versus teachers!

Hands on lessons

Science and Maths are great subjects for an outdoor lesson, as it can bring boring topics to life by giving children the opportunity to get involved and test things out for themselves rather than just learning the theory behind it. Create a ‘bug hunt’ with a list of insects that children have to find around the playground, or teach them about measuring by getting them to measure key points on the playground such as the height and width of their play equipment. You could also use getting outdoors as an opportunity to try experiments that are too messy for the classroom, such as experiments with water, or something fun like rocket launching.

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