The Outdoor Classroom

The Best Kind of Classroom
by Ian MacMillan
This is the best kind of classroom,
No walls, just sky and trees.
This is the best kind of classroom:
No radiators, just a gentle breeze.
You can learn here well, as the birds sing
About your place in the scheme of things.
You can make up poems about woodland flowers.
Why it’s almost as good at the Literacy Hour!

Photo Credit: Leslie Daniels

Yes, spring has sprung, and even though many parts of the world are still covered in snow and/or experiencing other wintry conditions, it’s that time of year to think about spending more quality time outdoors. Spring is often when our minds and bodies are yearning more than ever to get some fresh air and to stretch our legs. Perhaps you may just want to dip your toes into the cool water in order to sense the revitalization of the new season, or perhaps you might like to indulge in a more active role through game playing.
Active, outdoor games are always enticing to play this time of year; and what better way is there to spend time with your children than by playing games? Right outside your door, you and your children could play marbles, hopscotch or other sidewalk chalk games, such as tic-tac-toe or hangman. Jumping rope, flying kites, blowing bubbles, or even washing the family car (or your bikes) can be enjoyable outdoor experiences.
Photo Credit: Leslie Daniels

If you want to keep the outdoor activities on a more educational level and relating to the current school lessons, you might include: exploring nature and observing new signs of spring, taking a conducted sensory walk, practicing math skills with natural objects, writing a journal entry on a picnic table at a local park, gathering wild edibles for your upcoming cooking project, composing a poem by your favorite tree, painting a picture with a feather you found, or helping with a community clean-up event!
The creator of the website, “Mess For Less”, provides ideas and activities for playful learning with kids. You might enjoy viewing the ideas offered in 25 Outdoor Learning Games.