We know that taking learning outside may seem intimidating! It might feel challenging to make connections between outdoor play and learning and to shift from a teacher-led approach to one that enables child-led inquiry. Perhaps you feel the need to highlight the learning to parents or you wonder about how to provide a focus for play and learning outdoors.
Small steps to begin outdoor learning
Take a breath. You can do this a little at a time. Start off by taking a book outside to read together or doing a math-based treasure hunt as you collect and count or identify shapes. Enable scientific inquiry by observing changes in the environment or by planting seeds and monitoring growth. With every small step you take, you will start to feel empowered; soon enough, you will be able to comfortably facilitate outdoor play and learning, and step back and observe the children’s joy and exploration.
To help you get started, we have created this Nature Tales resource to provide play and learning experiences which are all connected to an outdoor story. Inside, you will find ten picture books, each with five connected playful learning experiences. That’s 50 ways to bring literacy outdoors, as well as facilitate and provide play opportunities! The suggested learning experiences also connect to areas of development – creative play, expressive arts, science and understanding of the world, mathematics, physical development, communication and language, role play, literacy and personal, social and emotional development.
You can also share this with parents with specific reference to areas of development and learning!
See? You got this!
How to use this resource:
- Choose an adventure with one of the suggested texts
- Engage the senses as the story comes to life
- Stimulate curiosity and play with nature as your backdrop