Nature Walk Activity – Colour Hunt: Outdoor Classroom Day #DirtIsGood
Outdoor Classroom Day is a global campaign to celebrate and inspire outdoor learning & play. It’s a day when thousands of schools around the world take their lessons outdoors. Last year, over 2.3 million children got out of the schoolroom to learn outside in the real world!
As a teacher myself, I am a huge advocate of outdoor learning. The enjoyment, sense of wonder & excitement that is generated when children play in & discover their environment is unquestionable. It improves children’s physical & mental health, engages them with learning & leads to a greater connection with nature. Outdoor play also teaches critical life skills such as resilience, teamwork & creativity.
With this in mind, I was shocked to read a recent study that showed the amount of time UK children play outside has decreased by 71%. In fact, 74% of UK children spend less time outdoors than the 60 minutes recommended for prison inmates!
LET’S FIX THIS
Since 2015, Persil has been an avid supporter of Outdoor Classroom Day & this year they want even more kids to get out & learn in the great outdoors. They believe every child should have the opportunity to learn and develop through outdoor play and exploration, and get all families to #EmbraceDirt and experience life, with all its messiness. So ahead of Outdoor Classroom Day, I was challenged by Persil to come up with three fun lessons for my children that can help them learn something new through first hand practical experiences.
For the next lesson, I chose a colours in nature theme with links to science. These activities are aimed at children from 2 years upwards.
Lesson 2 – Colour Hunt
This fun nature walk activity helps children develop observational & problem-solving skills & learn their colours.
This nature walk activity is the perfect way to get kids to explore the beauty of nature. The great thing is that it can be completed anywhere that is outdoors – in the garden, a park, along a nature trail etc. It’s easy to put together & kids will love collecting all of their new treasures. Once finished, return the items to nature & play again.
WHAT YOU NEED:
- Colour hunt sheet – make your own or download our FREE printable colour match cards
- Tray / bag to collect items from nature
- Choose which colours you want your little one to find – you may want to use all of the colours on our colour hunt sheet or you may want to reduce / add more
- Print & cut out / make your own. Bind together – we used a key ring.
HOW TO PLAY:
Put on the wellies & get outdoors to your chosen location!
Use the colour hunt cards to find matching items in their surroundings.
If possible, children can pick up the items & put them in their treasure tray / bag. You can also take photos, especially of things you can’t/shouldn’t pick.
Sophie only picked/collected things in the garden & local wood that we knew were safe e.g. fir cones, dandelion, strawberry leaf & flower, twigs, pebbles, daisy etc. She had great fun & managed to get nice & muddy! We took photos of plants such as bluebells & various wild flowers.
When your little ones collection is finished, empty out the items (& look at any photos) spending some time talking about & sorting items into colour groups. We sorted the items in 2 different ways:
- Using coloured card
2. Using coloured buckets/pots
Sophie really enjoyed our day of finding colours in nature & by the end of our activities had reinforced & extended her knowledge of colours. She had also learnt a few plant names!
Throughout these activities, remember: EMBRACE THE DIRT!
Let them get muddy, let them get dirty
MAKE IT EASIER:
Is your child too young for this activity or a younger sibling wants a go? Try these ideas:
- Reduce the number of colours you use – you could just do green, blue & red for example.
- Reduce the size of the area the children explore & ensure each colour is easily in sight
MAKE IT HARDER:
Are you working with an older child who is ready to learn even more? Try these ideas:
- Expand the range of colours you use & teach the names, for example turquoise.
- As you spot items, teach the names of the different tree, animal & plant species, for example oak tree & acorns.
- Try different ways of recording the items you find – make a chart / tally / bar chart / write the names of objects found etc.
What are you helping your little one to do?
- Learn the names of & to recognise different colours
- Develop observational & problem-solving skills
- Talk about how different things look & notice patterns
- Know that we have to be careful with plants & remember not to pick the flowers without checking with an adult
Enjoyed this? There’s still time to get involved in Outdoor Classroom Day –
Have you completed a nature walk activity before? Post your outdoor classroom ideas below!
PIN THIS NATURE WALK ACTIVITY – COLOUR HUNT:
**Nature walk activity – Colour hunt is a collaborative post