With the weather slowly warming up, you have likely thought about taking the kids outdoors for a fun and exciting way to explore the national curriculum and make it seem more like play rather than learning.
There’s no end to the types of education fun you can plan outdoors but if you need some inspiration to get you started, we have listed our favourite outdoor lessons ideas for KS1 and KS2. The best part is that these can all be delivered with some basic educational supplies for schools and handouts.
A fun way to introduce KS1 classes to important parts of the curriculum like science, maths, and data handling, is by planning a mini beast hunt based lesson. The resources you will need to facilitate this outdoor activity are magnifying lens, gloves, bug boxes and identification guide worksheet that students can use to catalogue their find.
For a fun numeracy based outdoor lesson, you can plan active numeracy activities in the playground and get children learning about numbers in a whole new way. There are a number of different aspects of the KS1 maths curriculum that you can deliver in an outdoor setting, from basic counting to more complex concepts like shapes and pattern recognition.
Science and maths aren’t the only subjects on the curriculum that you can take out of the classroom with your students. Music lessons lend themselves particularly well to an outdoor setting, especially on a sunny day when you can really make the most of the weather with your class. Whether your school has outdoor musical equipment or you choose to take some small instruments out with you, young learners will surely be delighted by the new setting, and you can even plan in songs and activities that will focus on the outdoors and the weather to really pull together your music lesson plan and the outdoor setting.
Children love getting messy by nature so what better way to spend a lesson outdoors than by creating a lesson plan around potions, pies, and messy play? By supplementing messy play with “spells” for students can make the potions, you can turn this activity into a literacy-based lesson that will encourage children to improve their reading in a fun and unusual way. For this lesson plan, all you need to do is print of some instructions for the class to follow on how to make mud pies or potions, and have some basic school supplies at hand, such as mixing bowls, sieves, cups, and utensils.
For a less messy craft lesson, you can craft a plan for an outdoor history lesson based on making pomanders. This sweet smelling activity is sure to be a hit with any KS2 class and be adapted to cover medieval realms and the Tudor period from the KS2 history curriculum. In order to make the pomanders, all you need are some oranges, cloves, pencils, and ribbon and tape to finish them off. While the children are occupied with making this Tudor relic, you can talk them through their significance and why they were used during Tudor times as a form of perfume and to repel diseases.
To create a science-based outdoor lesson for upper KS2 classes, have students design hibernation nests for dormice. This lesson plan will challenge students to use their reasoning abilities based on evidence from comparative tests, in particular, about the insulating properties of everyday materials like plastic, metals, and wood. Using this information, students then work either alone or in teams to create suitable hibernating nests for dormice.