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 you can 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! Need something quick to print and take outside? You can easily access thousands of printables on ETTC Premium for fast click, download, and print activities you can toss on clipboards and take outside. Give Premium a try today and see how amazing it is!
Outdoor Activity Idea 1. Clipboards
“Anything outside on clipboards!! Just a change of scenery helps!” – Janessa F.
2. Cloud Watching
There is something about going outside for a few minutes, laying on your back, and looking up at the clouds. Can your students identify which types of clouds they are seeing in the sky? Use an anchor chart like this one to lead your discussion.
3. Book Boxes
“I let them bring their book boxes outside and read.” – Jennifer J.
4. Outdoor Read-Aloud
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. Follow it up with a story comprehension activity on clipboards.
Outdoor Activity Idea 5. Use Chalk
“Chalk! Sight words, math facts, spelling words, sentences, etc.” – Kim M.
Take your students outside, pass out some chalk, and let them work on an activity like this consonant and vowel worksheet.
7. Write the Room
“We did a write-the-room activity outside.” – Kathie D.
8. Draw the Day Away
Another clipboard activity that includes writing… directed drawings! Let your students choose something to draw from the multitude of options and then head outside with their writing and drawing utensils. Added Bonus: you can put this up on your bulletin board after and be done decorating your wall for the month.
Outdoor Activity Idea 9. Number Order Clothes
“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.
The only way to know what is going on with the weather is to go outside and experience it. True… you could look out a window, but that isn’t nearly as fun. Give each student their own Weather Report and take them outside to record their notes. Add a little more fun by having students act as newcasters to report the weather to the class.
11. Movment with Meaning
“Gross motor Math with a number line or math and literacy sensory path with chalk.” – Kristie D.
12. Fly Kites
“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? I have a STEAM activity that allows your students to be super creative with plastic bags. What will they make with their plastic bag?
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 Idea 14. Listen and Color
Speaking of following directions, Listen and Color is a great activity to do outside too. Have your students take clipboards and they will listen to you reading the directions and color the picture accordingly.
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
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.”
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!
Don’t have enough chalk or sidewalk space, no worries, use this spelling tic-tac-toe activity instead!
Outdoor Activity Ideas 18. Scavenger Hunt
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.
19. Play I Have, Who Has?
This 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
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. 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.
In addition, you can follow us on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook @educationtothecore for continued information and resources as the school year progresses.
Written by: Korryna Sanchez
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