Outdoor Educational Games for the Family
With all the exciting methods out there designed to teach kids their number facts or spelling words, it can sometimes feel a little boring. If your kids love to move and spend a lot of time outdoors, there’s no reason why you can’t take their homework out there too.
There’s no doubt that learning how to spell and how to recall simple number facts is a particularly useful skill to have throughout your lifetime.
Imagination is the key here. Use what you have lying around at home. The idea here is to promote activities that not only exercise the mind but also exercise the body. They keep kids fit and healthy, give them an opportunity to practice what they’ve learnt at school and expend some energy. At the end of the day, it gives you some quiet time to relax and rejuvenate.
So here are a few ideas to move forward with.
Knock em’ Down
- Fill some old plastic bottles with sand or gravel for kids to throw at the bottles to try to knock them down.
- Position the bottles at varying distances away from the kids and award a different number of points depending on the distance of the bottle.
- Give them an old board to keep score.
- Call out a spelling word or a number fact e.g. 4 x 3.
- Your child has to answer the question before they can throw the ball and collect their points.
- Let your child write their score.
A great tip here is to ask your child to add up their points total. You can vary the way the points are recorded. Use tally marks etc to continually expose your kids to different ways to record information.
This is great because we just hose off the wall at the end to get rid of the chalk. The kids absolutely love playing with chalk so it’s a lot of fun.
If the day isn’t too hot, we have also done this with a bucket of water and paintbrush. They paint the word with water and before long, the word has vanished again.
- We play a game where the girls all sit in a horizontal row.
- Call out a spelling word and the girls take a piece of chalk and race to the wall.
- They write the spelling word and run back to their original position and sit down.
- The first to correctly write the word and sit back down gets the point.
I’ve played this game generally when I have highly energetic kids around. It’s truly exhausting so have drinking water readily available! You won’t be worn out but the kids will be.
- Set up two buckets a few metres apart.
- One person is the runner.
- There is another person who will provide the answers.
- Ask this person to spell a word.
- As soon as you’ve said the word, the runner runs between the two buckets scoring as many runs as possible before the word has been spelt. The runner records the total number of points.
- Switch sides and repeat the game.
This game is a lot of fun for young kids, especially those in their first year of school who are learning to read and add numbers together. My girls loved this game.
- Write one number or letter per sheet of paper. Use thick marker to write them or simply print them out.
- Spread the sheets of paper throughout an open space.
- Ask your child to spell a word or answer a number fact question. This is a great game kids can play collaboratively as they go about collecting the letters to show their word.
Photo by DeclanTM
We have played this many times in the past. It’s a fun game that takes no time at all to setup.
- Write some numbers on the wall with chalk.
- Ask a number fact question.
- The kids take turns to throw a ball and hit the correct answer on the wall.
Simple and fun!
None of these games are difficult to set up, yet they are fun and let kids expend some of that endless supply of energy they all manage to find. Give them a go and let us know how they work for your family.
What fun outdoor learning games have you created with your kids?