Super Cool Outdoor Educational Play Ideas

Keeping kids entertained during the holidays is hard. Even harder is watching them watch television or play video games when you know they could be in the garden exploring!

104206-00A lack of outdoor play is said to hurt children’s development and, with reports detailing how children no longer like to play outside, the summer holidays are the perfect way to introduce outdoor play.

Here’s some ideas for younger children that require minimum effort and set up but provide maximum stimulation and fun:

  • How many triangles?

Collect 9 sticks (or ask the children to) and see how many triangle shapes they can form with just the 9 sticks. Its a tough one and will require problem solving, team work and great memory. Take a picture of each different formation to see what the maximum number of triangles is.

 This research shows a third of children these days have never built a den. This is sad because these kind of projects teach them how to tackle real world problems.

  • What’s in your footprint?

With the help of a responsible adult kids need to create a foot shaped hole in a piece of paper or card. Then you can lie the card on grass, bark, soil and where ever else kids want to explore. Kids can then record what they can see inside their footprint. This leaves you able to ask questions such as: Are there any plants? Insects? Anything you haven’t seen before?

  • Camping-00Colour hunt

How many different coloured objects can kids find in ten minutes? You can mix this up by changing the search perimeters, try the local park or front garden. If you’re kids are a little older ask them to find every shade of the rainbow!

  • Get growing 

Growing vegetables in the garden is easy and will provide ongoing entertainment for kids, they can check on their plants everyday until they’re ready to be picked and eaten! All you’ll need is either a small patch of the garden or an old pan, wooden box, glass jar to grow in.

Great plants for kids include: Cress, beans, carrots, radishes, chives, spring onions and spinach.

  • Frozen fun 

Ice is the ultimate summer cooler. A great attention grabbing science experiment is to freeze objects such as small toys, buttons and clothing pegs into blocks of ice. Then kids have the fun task of retrieving their toys using cold water and salt to melt the ice. This one keeps kids entertained for hours, the secret is lots and lots of ice.

 We recently talked to Cancer Research UK about children’s sun safety when spending extended periods out in the sun. Read what they had to say here. We also posted our sun safety tips and tricks here.

Other Places:

Tips for Teaching Outdoors 

World Science Day: Peace and Development