Fun Spring Time Outdoor Education Activities

cover photo spring outdoor education activities/ boy standing in front of a blossoming cherry tree

Spring is a time of wonder and magic. New life is forming, plants are emerging, and animals are starting to return from hibernation and migration. If you have spent the winter inside, it is also a time to shake off some of the cobwebs and start to get outside and explore again. Why not give your students a chance to get outside and experience the magic? Try out some of these spring outdoor education activities and have some fun getting to know nature again.

Before you head outside this spring, make some time to prepare yourself, your students, and your families for being outside for extended periods. Also, before you participate in any outdoor education activity, ensure that you are prepared for being outdoors, have completed a site assessment, and have a fully stocked first aid kit. If you have spent the winter indoors, students will be eager to get outside and experience some of the freedom outdoor learning provides. However, with any outdoor education activity, it is best to be prepared to prevent any injuries. 

3 kids standing outside

Spring Outdoor Education Activities​

Getting outside with your students doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be as simple as giving your students time to get outside and play. These outdoor education activities for spring are just a start. There are so many ways that you can take your curriculum outside and give your students the gift of time in nature. 

1. Spring Nature Journals​

Take some time with your students to get outside and observe the changes and new life that take place in the spring. Use nature journals to help guide your students in their observations. There are so many ways that you can create nature journals with your students. You can either simply provide students with a blank notebook or journal or you can find a pre-made journal to help guide your students. 

The beauty of journaling is that it allows our students to get outside and start observing and connecting with the world around them. When they take time to notice what is happening around them, they can see how the different processes are unfolding in nature. This close observation allows them to make their own connections and understandings to nature. 

2. Spring Art Activities​

Take your art outside! With the milder weather, springtime is a great time to get outdoors and create something beautiful. Why not try some nature photography to help your students capture the magic of spring? You can also try some nature sketching. After a rainy day, you might even want to try some puddle watercolours. Simply take the watercolour paints outside and use the puddle water to wet the brushes. (I’ve also done this with slush in the early spring.)

3. Take a Subject Outside​

You don’t need to go into in-depth lesson planning or gather special equipment, simply take a subject outside. Why not let your students practice their spelling or writing outdoors? Or maybe you want to take a math lesson outside. Simply take your work outside and enjoy the sunshine and mild weather while you learn. It’s as easy as that!

If you are wanting to spend more time outdoors, there are many ways that you can take your curriculum outside. You can find a unit and adapt it for outdoor learning. Or you can comb through your curriculum and look for outcomes that lend themselves to outdoor learning and then take your lesson, activity, or unit outside. 

a boy exploring using a magnifying glass

4. Help Out the Earth​

Earth Day happens every spring on April 22. However, we don’t need to think about the Earth just on Earth Day. Take some time to help out the Earth and encourage your students to make a difference for the Earth. 

Some great ways that kids can help the Earth are:

  • cleaning up litter
  • making animal habitats
  • planting some pollinator-friendly plants
  • planting a tree
  • learning about the native plant and animal species from their area

5. Get Growing​

Starting a garden is such a great way to teach kids about plants, ecosystems, and where our food comes from. Let the new life outside and the buds starting to open inspire your budding gardeners. You can even get a head start by starting some plants inside. Great plants to start indoors are sunflowers, pumpkins, and watermelons. You can watch these plants grow from seeds to seedlings and then when they are ready you can let the students take them home or you can plant them outside. 

If you have a school garden, get started with planning and planting the garden. Let students help with planning what they want to plant and how they want to plant it. You can have students track the growth of their gardens using a garden journal.

kids planting trees in a forest

6. Fly a Kite (or Create Another Science/Art Project)​

Springtime is a great time to start bringing science and art together. There are so many fantastic crafts that you can create that will not only allow kids to study scientific principles but also allow them to get creative. Projects such as making kites, wind socks, pinwheels, or even bird feeders, allow kids to add their own creative touch to their science projects. It also allows students to experiment with different materials, designs, and construction techniques. I love watching students problem-solve as they create an outdoor craft/science experiment.

7. Explore New Life​

Get out the magnifying glasses and take some time to look closely at the buds on the trees, the flowers blooming, or even some insects. Kids love being able to explore using the magnifying glasses. They can start to look at things up close and discover some of the tiny details that they may have never noticed before. 

boys blowing dandylion seeds

8. Read Outside​

Take some time out of your day to get outside and read. I always have an outside story to share with my students. Older students can take out their own books to read. Give your students some time to find a comfortable place to read either in the sun or under a tree.

9. Play in Some Puddles​

Don’t let a little rain stop you from enjoying the outdoors. Allow your students to play in the puddles. They can jump or splash in the puddles. Or you can provide them with a more structured activity, such as making boats to float on the puddles or diverting the water through streams. 

10. Write Outside​

Let the beauty of nature inspire your students. Try some outdoor writing and you will be amazed at what your students come up with. You can try some nature-inspired poetry or nature writing outside. Or simply just provide your students with some writing prompts and watch their imagination take over!

11. Just Get Outside and Play!​

Provide your students with the gift of having time to play in nature. Children spend so much of their time at school engaged in structured activities. They don’t have time to simply play. Outdoor play has so many benefits for our students. Not only do children benefit from the physical benefits of being outdoors, but the mental and emotional benefits of outdoor learning are also amazing. 

Take some time out of your day to just let your kids play outside. Set some boundaries and allow your students to really get into their play. 

kids picking up trash in the spring time

Now Get Outside and Enjoy Some of These Spring Time Outdoor Education Activities!​

Even if you don’t consider yourself to be outdoorsy, there are tons of ways that you can get your students outside and learning. After being cooped up all winter long, the springtime invites us to get outside and start exploring. As teachers we all know that the last couple of months before school lets out can be a bit of a drag, but it doesn’t have to be. Let your students get outside and enjoy nature with some of these fantastic spring outdoor education activities. Give your students the gift of being able to get outdoors and get learning. 

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