Little Learners: Outside
Posted on 11.21.2019, Thursday

Summer has come to an end, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the wonderful weather as temperatures cool. Many classrooms are incorporating forest classroom experiences in their curriculum as a way to encourage the inquisitive nature of young children.

Young children are explorers and continuously learn from the environment around them. The outdoors can be an engaging classroom or a learning environment. Find a park or a small green space near your school or your home. It doesn’t need to be significant for a child to learn and explore!

Engage in Critical Thinking

While outside with little ones, use new vocabulary describing the world around you. Point to a leaf and talk about how leaves will change colors or “pigments” due to “Chlorophyll” not being produced. Count out objects you see such as the puddles you jump in or the flowers you pick. If you need additional resources for outside activities check your local library or go online before you explore. Here is an informative PBS article discussing growing scientists.

Record and Share

With smart-phones being so popular and readily available, anyone can take photos and document the experience. Use these as records to compare changes in seasons or allow children to narrate their experiences to family and friends.

Great Space

Durham is home to the Sarah P. Duke Gardens – 55 acres of specialized gardens, paths, and ponds. Admission is free, and they are open 365 days of the year. The Partnership enjoys working with Duke Garden for several events throughout the year.