These are challenging times at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that education can’t be fun or interesting for children. With the arrival of spring, it’s an exciting time to be learning outdoors. There’s so much to see and do and it’s a great time to explore minibeasts and start growing vegetables.
It’s amazing what you can do being creative with your recycling, both at school and at home. Here are some great ideas that are low-cost and can be replicated in an education setting or at home.
1. Yoghurt Pot Cress
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to teach the children about plants and growth then you can’t really go wrong with cress. Ask the children to collect their yoghurt pots from home, or collect them from your education settings kitchen. Ensure they’re washed out thoroughly and pop labels on for each child and cut a couple of layers of kitchen towel out for the bottom of each.
Using recycled pots can mean you can carry them to different locations whether it’s the field, forest school, or under your school canopy. The children will love sowing the seeds, caring for them and they can learn all about plants. You could even complete the cycle by asking the children to make sandwiches with their cress when it’s ready!
2. Jam Jar Safari
Ask the children to bring in a used jam jar from home. After you’ve made sure they’re nice and clean you could set up a minibeast safari. Explore your field or forest school area and task the children with finding a minibeast to study. The children can collect some of the local plants to go in their jar. Children love collecting leaves and sticks from the ground.
Help the children to collect minibeasts to study. A great option is to look at woodlice which can be found under dead wood. So as not to collect too many you could ask the children to work in teams.
It’s a great way to teach children how to care for and respect nature. You can also talk about the importance of insects and their habitat. Just remember to only keep the insects for a short time so you don’t stress them out.
3. Junk Sums
Instead of using cubes in the classroom for maths why not use recycled packaging? Ask parents to send their cardboard packaging recycling into school with their children. Set up sums on a board outside and ask the children to use the boxes to work out the sums in the same way as they would use cubes in the classroom.
This is a great outdoor activity and because they are using boxes and putting them in piles to do the sums they will be moving around more. It will also be great for teamwork. One tip is to seal up any open ends with tape before the activity to make the new ‘cubes’.
There are so many ways you can use recycled items for your students’ or children’s education. It could save you time having to source new items and save money as well!
What ideas do you have?
Download our How to Get the Most Out of Your Canopy Guide for more outdoor learning ideas:
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