Nature is a brilliant learning tool
We all have heard for years getting out of the house and into nature is good for our mental health and wellbeing.
Did you know it is also amazing for education as well.
Now the winter of 2021 is over, which seemed to grey-drag on forever, and the spring has well and truly sprung with the first glimmers of long summer days are appearing, it is the perfect time to get out there and use the brilliant education resource that we have here in New Zealand called Nature.
Getting out of the house during lockdown can help everyone in the home with lowering stress levels through lock-downs.
Its also a great opportunity to learn.
Its the worlds best free classroom.
There are so many benefits of using nature to learn.
A lot of kids learn best when they are doing rather than just reading, getting out in nature takes the words of the page and brings the lesson into reality.
Including multiple senses has shown in many studies to dramatically increase the retention rates and length of information learned with Primary ages kids.
Some Nature Classroom activities are:
I spy counting – How many things that are pink can you count? How many things that are rectangles can you count? How many cars that are red can you count?
Magnify it – All you need is a magnifying glass
Look at everything up really close, leaves, rocks, flowers, trees – What’s the coolest thing they can see.
Collecting and Classifying – Get them to collect a bunch of an item (this can anything that is around in abundance such as flowers, leaves, sticks, shells, bits of bark, stones, feathers) get them to count them then to group them into different piles.
If they collected flowers,
They could be grouped by sizes, colour’s, those that smell and don’t smell, by petal sizes
If they collected shells,
They could be grouped by size, type of shell, colour of shell, shape of shell.
Make a mini world – In a container use use sand, pebbles, water, mud, grass, sticks and leaves to create a mini-world. You can theme it to get them to create certain habitats such as dessert, savannah, forest or have them recreate the backyard or park as a miniworld
Can you find it – Get a handful of leaves from various plants, once you have several then lay them out on the ground and see if the kids can find which plant matches which leaf.
Check out our experiments page or our STEM topics page for more great ideas