4 Awesome Outdoor Learning Activities To Keep Kids Busy This Summer

With school out for the year and the days growing hotter, kids are spending more time outdoors enjoying fresh air and sunshine. Between asking for popsicles and requesting that parents turn on the sprinkler (again), kids are going to need to find ways to stay entertained this summer. So, why not suggest some activities that are both super fun and educational? Here are some ideas to help get you started.

Build a Garden Snail Habitat

If you have a garden, you probably have garden snails — and if not, you’ll definitely be able to find some potato bugs or other harmless, gentle insects. Consider using an old flower pot, bucket or shallow storage bin to create your snail habitat. Have your kids add some moist soil to the bottom of the container, then arrange rocks, leaves and sticks to make a pleasant environment for their new snail friends. If you find a snail or two in your garden or a local park, it’s easy to gently place them into your new habitat so they can be observed (just make sure it’s open at the top so they can easily climb out when they’re ready to move on). A nice leaf of lettuce, a carrot or a few slices of cucumber will entice them to stay a while, and if you’re really lucky, they might settle in and lay some eggs. Mist your snail habitat with water regularly to keep it damp and inviting.

This activity is great for school-aged children. Encourage them to keep an observation journal and record their scientific findings. This creative journal comes equipped with stickers, markers and decorative tape, so kids can customize it to their heart’s desire.

Plant Vegetables or Flowers

Plant a seed and watch it grow — your kids will be amazed at what a little water and sunlight can do. All you need is a packet of seeds and a bit of good soil. If you don’t have a flower pot, use an old yogurt container or even an egg carton. You can start your seedlings indoors or do everything outside. Sunflowers are easy to grow and develop quickly, and most tomatoes do well in a pot. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even plant an entire vegetable garden or flower bed with your kids. Challenge them to keep it weeded and watered all summer long — they’ll be so proud when they see their beautiful garden in bloom.

Create Art Inspired By Nature

There are so many ways to combine art and nature to keep kids busy. Depending on your child’s age and interests, you can encourage them to sketch flowers and trees you see outdoors, make leaf rubbings with crayons and paper, paint rocks, or dry flowers by pressing them between some paper and two heavy books. Your kids may be excited to make windchimes out of found materials like sticks and pine cones, or use peanut butter and bird seed to turn that pine cone into a bird feeder. Or, simply put out a big bucket of sidewalk chalk and see where their creativity takes them. Pro tip: chalk can be even more fun if you give them a few paint brushes and cups of water. Let your kids crush up a few chalk sticks to make vibrant, temporary outdoor paint for your fence or driveway.

Have Fun with Old-Fashioned Games

Sometimes, an old school game is exactly the sort of wholesome summer fun your family needs. Consider buying or making a game of cornhole, which incorporates physical activity and math skills. Your kids will love tossing the bean bags into the holes and keeping score is a great way to help them practice addition. You could also play horseshoes, lawn darts, croquet, lawn bowling or badminton. Create a family scavenger hunt or challenge your kids to create their own nature-inspired games and activities.

By Staples Canada

June 22, 2021