With the right guidance, nature-based learning activities can be used to enhance a child’s understanding of science, math, language arts, and social studies, as well as reinforce important life skills. So whether you’re looking for more structured activities to supplement your child’s learning, or just want to spend a weekend outdoors, here are some ways to encourage learning.
Nature-Based Learning Activities
Nature-based learning activities are an excellent way to engage children and help them develop a greater sense of appreciation for their environment. With the help of natural resources, children can become more aware of the world around them.
Nature-based learning activities have been gaining traction in the education world, as parents and educators recognize the value of hands-on, outdoor activities.
Activity 1: The Shape of Things — search for the shapes and colors that define both our natural and built environments.
Activity 2: Sounds Around — explore the sounds of nature and imitate them using their own voices and instruments that they make together.
Activity 3: Tree Textures — explore trees and their parts using the sense of touch.
Activity 4: Follow Your Nose — explore trees and tree parts using their senses of smell and taste.
All Aged Children
Sometimes we forget that older kids need the outdoors too. There’s not some magical age where you stop reaping the benefits of going outside. In fact, it’s good for the mental health of everyone, no matter how young or old, to get outside.
Exploring Local Habitats
Exploring local habitats with kids is a great way to get them out of the house and into nature. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn about the many different ecosystems, plants, and animals that live in your area.
Whether you live in the city or in a rural area, there are always interesting and unique habitats to explore. A great way to start exploring is to take a walk around your neighborhood and observe the different plants and animals that you can find.
Head to a nearby park or nature preserve. This is a great opportunity to teach them about the different plants, animals, and ecosystems that exist around them.
Observing Plants and Animals
Observing plants and animals with kids is a wonderful way to get them excited to learn more about the natural world.
When exploring, try to encourage your kids to take a closer look at the plants and animals you find. It can be fun to observe changes in the environment and help kids to understand the biology and ecology of their surroundings.
You can also help them to identify the plants and animals they observe and note any interesting facts about them. Additionally, taking photos or collecting a few specimens can be a great way to remember your exploration and document the discoveries your kids make.
Documenting and Recording Observations
This is a great example of natural learning, instead of the dreaded copywork, give your children something to document. They are going to be writing, spelling, and all those things just from sitting and watching nature.
This is something great to do at, or after, ad visit to a zoo, and nature preserve, or even after watching a nature documentary.
Engaging in Group Discussions About the Findings
I love this with homeschool groups or co-ops. Whether you have an outing to a farm, or a nature preserve when you have this group you know everyone is talking about what they see, and what they think is happening.
You can have them break off into small groups and talk about it too if you want a more formal discussion too.
I feel like nature-based learning is the easiest way to learn with your kids, to teach them. They are naturally curious about everything around them. Don’t worry about getting dirty or wet. Experience it.