National Get Outdoors Day: Great Ideas for Learning Outside

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This Saturday (June 9) is National Get Outdoors Day — a day dedicated to encouraging healthy, active outdoor fun. It also provides a great opportunity for learning! Here are some things you can do with your learners this National Get Outdoors Day (or any day):ngod_final_logostacked

  • Plant Parts for Dinner– Eat dinner outside and plan a meal that is full of vegetables and fruits. With your learner, discuss the various parts of plants that we eat– stems (celery), leaves (lettuce and spinach), roots (carrots), flowers (cauliflower and broccoli), etc.

  • Create Pressed Leaves– Collect various fresh flowers and leaves. Find a heavy book and open it to a middle section. Place wax paper, newspaper, or paper towels to protect the pages and place leaves or flowers inside the book so they lay flat and don’t overlap. Close the book and place some weight on it. Wait a week or more for it to dry.

  • Build a Garden– Invite your child to participate in a gardening activity, whether it be in the backyard or inside the house. Plant something new from seed, water the garden, or rake the leaves.

  • Heat from the Sun– On a sunny day, take your learner outside to stand in the sun. After about 30 seconds, find a place in the shade to stand for another 30 seconds. Then, discuss the difference in temperature and how the earth is warmed by the sun.

  • Moon in the Sky– Do this activity on a clear night when there’s a bright moon in the sky. Just as the moon is on the horizon, hold up an index card at arm’s length and mark the diameter (from edge to edge) of the moon. A few hours later when the moon is higher in the sky, hold up the card and compare the lines. Does the moon actually change size as it rises, or is it just our imagination?

What are some outdoor activities you do to encourage learning?

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