Includes Items gifted for review.
I am very passionate about outdoor learning. It is something I think is very important to include at school but also at home too. Since I have been homeschooling the boys during lockdown I have tried to incorporate outdoor leaning into our day as much as possible. There are so many ways outdoor learning can be enjoyed from not only taking learning outside but also engaging with the environment and nature.
Outdoor learning reconnects us with our environment. It allows us to get out of our house and learn about the creatures and plants that live near us. It can help our mental health by engaging us in the outdoors and allow us to provide for the plants an animals that are our neighbours.
outdoor learning and exploring the environment
We love exploring our local parks as well as our own garden. The boys love learning all about how things grow. Where you live there are lots of things you can look and search for and investigate more about. Useful equipment for outdoor leaning include; binoculars, telescope, microscope and storage jars for a closer inspection. We used a telescope to identify the types of trees and leaves.
We used the viewfinder/ microscope to inspect the bark and see if there are any insects or butterflies and if they are using camouflage to hide in the bark for example. While you are close to the trees you can look at the shape of the roots if they are visible.
Other outdoor activities we love doing include cloud spotting identifying shapes, climbing a tree, make nature drawings, observational nature drawings, go puddle splashing, make a bug hotel, pond dipping, watching the sunrise or sunset and gardening. We were asked to review some children’s educational toys from Learning Resources which we will review below.
Geo safrari vega 360 Telescope
Zackary who is 9 was so excited to use the Telescope. He loves space as a topic and the fact that the zoom can allow you to see craters on the moon he was very excited. So far we have tried it out in the daytime where we used in to view the branches and leaves of a tree. We used the telescope to look at the trees to see if you can see any birds nesting and what type of birds inhabit our locality. The telescope comes with a tripod and delivers close up images at magnifications of 20x, 40x and 80x. Available to buy from Learning Resources.
My First MICROSCOPE
The boys loved the Geosaphari Junior My First Microscope. Great for little hands, easy to use and includes 8 x magnification plus an LED light. Jake loved finding different objects to discover outside including leaves and sticks and of course some of his toys! This educational toy falls under the umbrella of STEM based learning. This stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths topics all areas. Outdoor learning engages children in a range of practical activities such as doing, making, touching and playing which underpins the theory behind STEM learning. The my first microscope is a real working science tool which encourages questions and allows you to nurture your child’s curiosity. Available to buy from Learning Resources.
Perfect for exploration, discovery and imaginative play. Discovery Acorns. These Acorns have variety of possibilties such as such as hide and seek and memory and sorting games and of course loads of opportunities for your little ones to use their own imagination to make their own games. We headed to the park with the acorns where we played hide and seek and also enjoyed collecting different things to put in the acorns.
Other options include; odd one out, treasure hunt, memory games and sorting objects eg into size or colour. At home we continued with our outdoor leaning in the garden and used the acorns for a both a maths and phonics focus. In the picture above Jake was playing a phonics sorting game. Different sounds were hidden in the acorns and Jake attempted to read the rounds and then blended them together to read the words he had made. This could be also used to practice number bonds. Available to buy here.
The boys absolutely loved the mighty magnifier, portable we packed it into our backpack and took it with us to the park. It comes with an adjustable headset with hinge, 2 levels of magnification and a built in LED light. The boys loved exploring their local environment and inspecting it close up. Available to buy from Learning Resources.
I hope you have enjoyed this post. Please do let me know in the comments if there are any outdoor learning ideas you love to do with your little ones.