The thought of taking lessons outside in the winter can be rather daunting. If you’re the type of person that feels the cold and avoids the winter air, you may be surprised at how much both you and your pupils can actually enjoy it.
The key to enjoying time outside during the colder season is preparation – make sure you all have warm clothes and where possible layer up; gloves, scarfs hats coats and jumpers will keep you warm and toasty as you know. Consider investing in an outside structure that offers protection from the rain, snow and depending on the design, wind too.
Taking lessons outside can be very rewarding so please don’t let the cold put you off. Fresh air is needed more than ever during this time of year, the central heating inside can make us feel sluggish, therefore reducing our enthusiasm and motivation, not to mention the ability to take in information and remember it.
What can we do outside this time of year?
Many lessons can be enjoyed outside this time of year however, to keep you warm and to make lessons fun, you have to let your imagination run wild!
For instance, math lessons can be taken outside but instead of sitting at a table to work out sums with a pencil and text book, you can use natural items such as fallen pine cones, leaves and twigs so your pupils can physically play out adding and subtraction sums using these items. This type of learning can make it easier for children to understand, not to mention much more fun and the movement keeps everyone warm.
Save messy science activities for the outdoors such as experiments that involve water and other liquids – it’s far easier to clear the mess outdoors that it is indoors. We love this idea from Outdoor Classroom Day’s website for a water wheel investigation lesson.
Geography is the perfect lesson to take outdoors because that’s what it’s all about… Treasure hunts are a great way to use field techniques and to learn scale and basic gird references, they’re also perfect for team building skills. Outdoor Classrooms Day’s ‘Micro Journey’ is a fabulous lesson where children can map out their own miniature route from the point of view of an ant.
More Lesson Ideas
There’s some fantastic outdoor lesson ideas on the outdoor classroom day’s website, be sure to check them out.
Protection from the Weather
To ensure your planned lessons can go ahead even in the rain, snow and hail, it’s well worth considering investing in a canopy such as wall mounted canopy so you can hold your outdoor lessons adjacent to your classroom which will keep you protected from the weather when moving from the classrooms to the outdoors. Side panels can be added to almost fully enclose your outside structure blocking wind and driving rain. The addition of canopy side panels also makes the area within the outdoor classroom slightly warmer due to the added protection.
(Disclaimer – we are in no way associated with Outdoor Classroom Day however, we think it’s a great initiative and we love their free resources.)
Able Canopies Ltd. design, manufacture and install canopies and shade structures
at schools, nurseries and educational settings to enable year-round
Free Flow Outdoor Play and Outdoor Learning.
For more information please contact us
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