Outdoor learning improves children’s health, engages them with learning and leads to a greater connection with nature. At Earthwatch we work with teachers and students to empower the next generation to have fun learning about nature and take action and save our planet.
1) Build a bug hotel
Did you know? Bugs are great! Over 75% of the world’s food crops rely on pollinator species.
Activity: Whether you want to get outside for half an hour or half a day, there is a bug hotel for you.
Simply follow these instructions and you'll be welcoming guests in no time!
2) Make some seed bombs
Did you know? If all UK gardens were turned into nature-friendly spaces, it would create a wildlife haven of over 430,000 hectares in size.
Activity: It's easy to make your very own seed bombs… and have fun throwing them into bare parts of your school grounds or garden! Planting flowers for pollinators brightens up your Naturespace as well as providing a vital resource for some of the UK’s most important and vulnerable species.
These easy to follow instructions will make your flower beds explode with colour!
3) Help to clear up our Plastic Rivers
Did you know? Up to 80% of marine plastics gets there from litter in rivers.
Activity: Organise a litter pick event in your school grounds or along your local river or stream and see how many identifiable plastic items you can find.
Your litter pick will help teach children to count and sort objects, interpret visual data, consider the impact of plastic litter and how waste might be reduced! Here are some things to think about when organising.
4) Make a butterfly feeding table
Did you know? The UK has 59 species of butterflies – 57 resident species of butterflies and two regular migrants, the Painted Lady and Clouded Yellow.
Activity: Build your own butterfly feeding table. You can use recycled materials to create the table. You might want to do a science experiment to see which colours and shapes are most attractive to the butterflies in your area.
You'll have butterflies fluttering by before you know it if you follow these instructions.
5) Create a river story
Did you know? More people die from poor quality water annually than from all forms of violence, including war.
Activity: Write a story about a real or imagined journey going from the source of a river to its mouth. Find some extraordinarily long paper (wallpaper is great) and use the words to form the shape of the river and the surrounding places.
Need some inspiration? Have a look at the resources from Mission:Explore Water.
6) Go pond dipping
Did you know? In just 40 years, freshwater species populations suffered a 76% decline.
Activity: Go pond dipping to investigate the invertebrate life you can find! Invertebrates are also a good indicator of how polluted the water body is.
This activity sheet will make you dabble into pond dipping in a safe and easy way.
7) Make a rain gauge
Did you know? Rain can contain more than just water! It might contain dirt, dust, insects, grass or even chemicals.
Activity: Create a rain gauge to accurately record rainfall.
Watch this easy how-to guide for more inspiration.
8) Walk for your life
Did you know? Water scarcity is the lack of sufficient water resources to meet the demands of water usage within a region. It already affects every continent and around 2.8 billion people around the world at least one month out of every year. More than 1.2 billion people lack access to clean drinking water.
Activity: Imagine you had no pipes leading to your house or school. How far would you have to walk to reach your nearest source of fresh water?
Use a map to plot a safe and easy route to your nearest freshwater source.
9) Nurture your Naturehood
Did you know? In the UK, one in every seven species is threatened with extinction. This includes our beloved hedgehogs.
Activity: Sign up to complete a NatureSpace survey as part of our brand new community wildlife project Naturehood!
Follow the steps on our new Naturehood website to contribute important information.
10) Wildlife Explorers
Did you know? There is a diminishing connection between people and wildlife, impacting human health and wellbeing.
Activity: Do a wildlife walk around your neighbourhood – can you identify the different land use types? Where is there space for wildlife to live? What might you find there? What could you do to help develop these spaces to create homes for wildlife?
You can use these charts to help children identify different animals!
Make sure to log all your exciting outdoor activities on the Outdoor Classroom Day website and get signed up to take part for the next one on November 7th 2019.
If you would like to get your students learning outside the classroom, you can do it anytime, and we’re here to help! Sign up to Discover Earth to have our Education team come out and provide free CPD training in outdoor learning, citizen science and sustainability. Or come along to one of our Teach Earth weekends.