I am incredibly lucky to work at a school with an amazing outdoor learning space. There is so much for the kids to do outside and it is a beautiful natural area. There are several structures that the kids love and use regularly. I decided to incorporate them into the time that I use it as an outdoor classroom. The weather agreed with us today and lots of fun, and learning happened.
I used our plexiglass easel for the kids to create some art. I painted the backside on one with yellow paint and blue and green on back of the other easel. Then, I roughly scratched 6 butterflies into the yellow paint. My intention for the easel with the blue and green paint was to look like sky and land. It worked out well and allowed for students to work together to create some beautiful painted art.
We also have a stage that I transformed using my fabrics. By covering it it created a house or ‘secret clubhouse’ as it become for some.
In our sensory bins I used, mini pumpkins, leaves, pipe cleaners, pine cones, mulch and dry corn. Many students spent quite some time at these tables. Some students created leaf bracelets with the leaves and pipe cleaners. I also encouraged students to pick the corn from the cob. It is a interesting sensory activity that left us with a bin of corn kernels.
I set out several pumpkins around the outdoor classroom area. Then I put dry eraser markers (and socks for erasing) and encouraged students to draw on the pumpkins to create faces or even try printing their name.
I also wanted to use our wooden bridge in some way. Students are really interested in building things right now, so I put lots of sticks and a few balls on the bridge. I encouraged students to try, using the bridge, to roll a ball down on the stick(s) without it falling off. How could you construct some structure/ramp that could be balanced on the bridge and allow the ball to run down without falling off until the bottom?
We also had a sensory walk for the kids – complete with a walk through pumpkin seeds and goop in bare feet! Students freely moved around the outdoor area and did activities that they were drawn to and wanted to try out. I found it very interesting to watch where students chose to go first. I loved giving a variety of options and time for them to explore. It was a great day!