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Walter Hix

Science Skills Kids Can Learn By Playing Outdoors

Science Skills Kids Can Learn By Playing Outdoors

It is always important for you to indulge your kids in outdoor playing. Kids are naturally curious to know the world around them. Outdoor plays are the best ways to engage them in imaginative, rich play and spend an hour learning more from the natural materials they get. Pinecones, pebbles, feathers, etc., have enough scientific inquiry potential.

In short, getting outside the exploring nature and fresh air can offer your kids the most fun and valuable science learning experiences.

Key science skills that kids can learn by playing outdoors.

Kids can learn various skills by playing outdoors. You can also integrate science learning opportunities in natural spaces. It is possible by connecting outdoor explorations to the learning of your children. Are you ready to see what science skills your kids can learn by playing outdoors?

Here we have brought some of the best science skills that your kids can learn by playing outdoors that you must know.

So, here we go:

1. Expanded learning spaces can encourage problem-solving and complex learning.

The contents and design of their outdoor play sets are important here. When your kids have access to various recycled and found objects, including fallen trees, large stones, tires, etc., their imagination will guide different activities. Let the children engage in imaginative play and get them into big body movements.

The authentic planning of children will help them develop complex learning and problem-solving skills.

Always let your children indulge in the outdoors and give them expanded learning space. Engage your kids in science learning conversations as they use materials to learn movement and quantity.

2. Exploring and sorting collections

Kids usually love keeping collections of various natural materials. These may range from shells to feathers, seed pods, and others. This practice can make it easier for you to integrate science into their outdoor plays.

  • Ask your kids to identify features such as shape, color, size, etc. Then ask them to sort their collected items into different categories.
  • Allow your children to bring their collected materials indoors for in-depth play and exploration.
  • You can also ask kids to place these objects on the light table and examine them using a magnifying glass.

In addition, you can also encourage your kids to search for more of such items to add variety to their collections.

3. Increase their interest in new topics.

Spending more time playing outdoors is the best way to introduce your kids to new sounds, smells, and sights. More unfamiliar experiences will result in more curiosity in your kids. They may have numerous questions in their minds. For instance:

  • How long does a tree take to grow?
  • What specie of animal is that? And more.

These questions can ultimately increase your kid's interest in science. You can encourage their new interests by giving them the time and material necessary for further discovery.

For instance:

  • If your kid is interested in learning about rocks, you should help manage a rock collection.
  • You can also consider checking out books about geology to help your kid learn more about the rocks, their formation, and other characteristics.

4. Noticing patterns

We understand the fact that nature is full of different patterns. Children can observe and document this repetition in multiple ways, from the changing season’s cycle to unique markings on the birds or animals.

Natural patterns typically require your kids to interpret their surrounding differently. When your kid observes the leaf growth cycle, they will have various possibilities to link their observations to science. Exploring patterns in nature will help them to think deeply about their observations.

5. Learning how cloud forms

Looking up at the sky and admiring the clouds is one of the kids' favorite activities to perform outdoors. You can encourage these little cloud viewers and spark their interest in learning about clouds.

Over time, they can learn to identify what type of cloud they are looking at and how these are formed.

6. Leaf shapes identification

Another science lesson your kids can learn while playing outdoors is the identification of leaf shapes. You can ask your kids to collect different types of leaves from the backyard or their play area. Then help them create a chart to sort and place different types of leaves here.

You can also make your younger children learn the words used to describe different shapes of leaves. Then take your kids outside to find trees, plants, shrubs, etc., from which these leaves belong. This practice will help them to compare leaves they find outdoors and learn more about the leaf structures and shapes more effectively.

7. Soil science skills

It could be multi-day learning for your kids. While playing outdoors, kids usually spend more of their time in the soil.

  • You can start discussing the soil structure with your kids, especially when they are playing with it.
  • Tell them what it is made of, the amount of water right for the soil, what can live in the soil, and how you can identify the amount of water in it.
  • You can inspire their curiosity by collecting soil from different places and making them examine its structure, moisture level, and more.

In conclusion, playing outdoors can also help the kids to learn soil science skills and determine how moist is that soil in the best possible way.

8. Seed dispersal

Your kids playing in a natural setting during a windy day can have a great opportunity to learn about seed dispersal. You can add to their skills by making them learn why and how plants disperse their seeds.

You can make them learn how well different types of seeds can travel when they are exposed to wind. They can also get to learn about the forces of wind here.

Final Thoughts

The great outdoor plays are filled with amazing opportunities for science learning. Nature with a connection to science can engage children in real-life problem-solving. Making your kids spend at least one hour playing outdoors can amaze you by seeing how outdoor settings have inspired scientific observations.


Image by Sean Wareing from Pixabay 

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