While it’s important to maintain a routine for your kids, it's also important to take breaks and include physical activity in your schedule. If the weather is nice, get outside! There are a lot of ways to incorporate learning in the great outdoors.  

Out of the House Thinking: Outdoor Lessons 

Alphabet walk

For a basic version, look for an item for each letter of the alphabet ( a, acorn; b, bird; c, car) as you take a walk around your neighborhood.

For difficult letters:
  • Look up! Clouds can take the shape of a lot of things if you use your imagination. A lion can turn into a moose in a matter of seconds. 
  • License plates are also helpful.
  • Only use the letters in your child’s name.
  • Add adjectives: teach descriptive writing by giving double letter bonuses (round rock, smooth sidewalk and so on).
  • Begin at the end, start with z and end with a.

Fence Fun**

We’ve all seen pictures of the beautiful stained glass art on fences. Use your fence for other outside activities.

Pattern Play

Make paint with water and food color or dilute washable paints and have your child paint the posts following a certain pattern (AB, ABBC, etc.).

Letter or Number Run 

For Letters: Use chalk or paint to turn your fence into a “keyboard.”  Use this to practice spelling words. Parents call out the word and the child runs and touches the fence posts to spell the word. For younger children, you could use this for letter and/or sound identification. 

For Numbers: Trying to learn math facts? Paint, chalk write or tape up numbers to fence posts for an active way to “do” math.                         

**for a chain-link fence, attach pieces of paper with letters on them, if you don’t have a fence, place paper with letters on them in your yard.

Obstacle courses 

Use items in your yard, garage and kitchen to create an obstacle course on your driveway, sidewalk or street. Use chalk to draw parts of the course. Make courses that can be done on foot and different courses for riding toys.

Laura Rowan has been a kindergarten teacher at CAC for 22 years. She's a mother of three boys and proud grandmother to her first grandchild.