The weather is getting warmer and our students (and us) are getting restless. We have had to pull out all of the stops this school year and really dig deep to keep the school year running smoothly. But, for the first time in forever, the weather is on our side and we can finally take the kids out of the classroom and onto the playground for some outdoor activities. Here are 20 Fun Ideas for Outdoor Activities for you to try!
Activities outside can make a regular lesson one to be remembered! You don’t have to do anything fancy, simply just take your kids outside and let the sunshine and fresh air do the rest of the work!
Outdoor Activity Ideas 1-
“Anything outside on clipboards!! Just a change of scenery helps!” – Janessa F.
2 – Use Education to the Core’s Premium Membership as a quick and easy way to prepare an outdoor lesson. Simple just log in, search the skill you are teaching and pick which printable works best for your class. This way you don’t have to worry about spending hours prepping a lesson and you can focus on other ways you can get your students up and moving!
3- “I let them bring their book boxes outside and read.” – Jennifer J.
4- If you do an afternoon read-aloud, you can simply take it outside. Find a nice spot on the grass or have your students carry their chairs outside. If you need some springtime read-aloud ideas try reading our blog 30 Spring Multicultural Read Alouds.
Outdoor Activity Ideas 5-
“Chalk! Sight words, math facts, spelling words, sentences, etc.” – Kim M.
6- Take your students outside, pass out some chalk and let them work on a worksheet like this Find the Missing Number worksheet.
7- “We did a write the room activity outside.” – Kathie D.
8 – Ready for a read-aloud outside?!? Grab “It Looked Like Spilt Milk” by Charles G. Shaw (aff) and take a few moments outside cloud watching. Allow your students’ minds to wander and imagine what they see in their cloud. Once complete, extend this cloud activity with a graphic organizer and writing prompt to create a classroom book!
Outdoor Activity Ideas 9 –
“Educational? I made simple cut-out clothes from construction paper, numbered (1-120), and laminated them. Then I hang a line (between basketball hoops or tetherball poles). The kids use clothespins and hang them in order.” – Sariah T.
10 – The Weather and Season Unit is always a HUGE hit! Inside this weather bundle, you’ll find 49+ adventurous activities including, fog, phonics, water cycles, and vocabulary charts designed to apply the most critical lessons you teach to the natural world your students observe outside their windows daily.
11- “Gross motor Math with a number line or math and literacy sensory path with chalk.” – Kristie D.
12 -“We made plastic bag kites ~ with sharpies and 1 string. My K kids loved it” – Sam E.
Looking for other ways to recycle that abundant supply of plastic bags? You’re in luck with April Packet’s STEAM Earth Day Project! With Spring, comes Earth Day and I am always looking for ways to reuse, reduce and recycle! So let’s teach our students how to make something new with this great STEAM lesson!
13- Simon says. It’s traditional and always fun. This game is great because it takes almost no prep and it can be done in a quick 10 minutes if all you need to do is get the wiggles out so you can continue with your planned lessons.
Outdoor Activity Ideas 14 –
Listen and Color is another great activity to do outside, just have your students take clipboards and they will listen to you reading the directions and color the picture accordingly. Not to mention, they are a part of the themed monthly packets, so they are themed to the season!
15 – Bubbles are a great reward, a fun way to end the day, or another quick activity you can do if you need to get the wiggles out.
16 – Four square was a staple in my recess routine. I remember being incredibly competitive about it. When my teacher announced we were going outside to play four square I was so excited to show off my skills. But she ended up turning it into a game similar to Simon Says that focused on our listening and motor skills. She would say things like “Mrs. B says to throw the ball to your left” or “Mrs. B says to pass the ball with one bounce to your right.”
17 – Tic Tac Toe is one of my favorite chalk games to play outside when I was a kid. We would play it during recess and my sisters and I would play it in our driveway during summer break. Then, one year my teacher drew a tic tac toe grid on the floor and had us try to throw a frisbee into a square! It was one of those days I will always remember, my classmates and I had so much fun!
Outdoor Activity Ideas 18 –
A nature scavenger hunt is perfect in the springtime. Or you can take it up a notch and try a Sensory Nature Walk. It is a fun way to engage your students with the changing season. For more information on it and more ideas for Springtime Science Activities, read our blog 13 of the Best Springtime Science Activities.
19 – I Have, Who Has? Is an awesome activity to take outside. I sometimes feel like it gets a little too loud to do in the classroom so taking it outside is a great way to give the students the opportunity to really be engaged in the activity without having to regulate their sound levels.
20- Map Making is another activity that I remember loving. My teacher had us go sit in front of our cafeteria and draw a map based on memory. Then, we went inside and got the chance to fix anything we didn’t remember correctly. This can be done in pretty much any part of your school. Even if you go outside, have your students draw a map of your classroom and then go back inside and have them self-check how well they did! Add some color and it can be a great wall display!
This is such an exciting time of year. I think the difficulties of these past few years are making this spring even more exciting! Spending time outside and interacting is something most of us haven’t done in a long time. I am so excited to see what this spring has in store!
If you are also excited about this Spring and want even more ideas to try in your classroom join any of our three Fearless Facebook Groups: Facebook in the Kindergarten Fearless Group, First Grade Fearless Group, or Second Grade Fearless Teacher Group.
Or, you can also sign up for our free Teaching Tiny Humans Teacher Course, where you will get weekly emails and guidance on how to navigate challenging situations, along with tips, tricks, activity ideas, and freebies to make this school year a success and constantly be honing your skills even if you are not in the classroom.
In addition, you can follow us on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook @educationtothecore for continued information and resources as the school year progresses, or listen to our podcast Where the Primary Things Are.
Written by – Korryna Sanchez
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