Are you looking for fun and engaging activities to teach your toddlers and preschoolers language development in an outdoor setting? You’ve come to the right place! Montessori-based language activities can be powerful learning tools for young children – helping them gain confidence, develop self-expression, and grow their vocabularies.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best outdoor classroom ideas, Montessori activities specifically designed to help kids with language acquisition. From nature walks with sensory stimulation to conversation games around a campfire – read on to find out how your little ones can get on the right path toward becoming effective communicators!
Outdoor Montessori Activities – Language
Storytelling with Natural Objects
One of our favorite activities beginning from early on (even as young as two years old) is “Storytelling in a Bag”. This wonderfully engaging activity is easily adapted to the outdoors.
Give every child a basket or bag, encourage him to collect objects around the area, regroup to explore the objects, and then create a story either orally or in a journal.
Story of a Tree
If you take a moment to look at a tree, especially an old tree, you can imagine its life. The leaves, moss, branches, and bark seem to come alive. You can imagine when the seed was first planted in the ground. What was life like so many years ago? Have each child choose a tree and journal a story with drawings or words.
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Journey of a Grain of Sand
Find a tiny pebble or grain of sand. Ask children about that tiny pebble’s journey. How did it get so small? Where did the journey start?
Invite the child to collect small, medium, and large rocks. Perhaps discover a boulder. Imagine that boulder slowly becoming a grain of sand over time. Grain of sand sequencing lends well to this activity.
Sequencing with Plants
A wonderful pre-reading activity for children is sequencing. A 3-year-old child can successfully do this activity, preparing him for language by igniting a desire to think about situations critically and logically (comprehension), and to recognize and be able to put together a storyline.
Go on a nature walk and collect natural objects. Each child should have a basket or bag. Then invite the children to explore the collected objects. Can they sort the objects into similar categories? Learn Montessori’s category-matching lesson here.
Children find objects that “look alike” but are not matching. For example, leaves from different trees, bark from different trees, or similar flowers. Learn the Montessori Look-Alike Matching lesson.
Simply talking on a nature walk stimulates questions, develops reading comprehension, and builds vocabulary. The ability to have a conversation also lends well to Practical Life’s Grace & Courtesy work.
Part of Speech Hunt
My six-year-old loves this activity. Easy to mix up to satisfy a range of ages, you can challenge the children to find nouns, adjectives, and even prepositions.
Verbs work well, too, as the children may discover ants building, birds flying, or worms crawling.
Preposition Movement Activity
Get bodies moving with this activity! Challenge the children to go under, over, on, across, behind, and in front of various natural objects.
Sand Tray Variation
Use your fingers to practice letter writing and building words. Hold off on using a stick or other objects as a writing tool. You want the child to use his finger and feel the texture of the dirt as he draws his letter shapes. Get creative and use seeds, leaves, or even snow during the colder months to trace letters.
“Just One Thing” Activity
Find one thing out in nature and create a story around this “just one thing” through drawings or words.
Use chalk, chalk rocks, or charcoal to write commands and have the child do the command (e.g. Write “hop” and have the child “hop”). This activity is easily adaptable to a wide range of ages. Learn Montessori’s Command Lesson.
For the first digital book of the series, you can purchase Taking Montessori Outside: An Activities Guide for Parents & Teachers either through my site here or from my Teachers Pay Teachers store. You’ll need to create an account!
I hope you enjoyed this post!