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[Outdoor Education] 75+ Activity Ideas for Kids

What to learn dozens of outdoor classroom ideas?

This post includes 75 fun and intriguing activities for the Montessori Outdoor Classroom. Dr. Montessori believed that the outdoors is a natural extension of the classroom, that there should be harmony between the indoor and outdoor learning environments. The outdoors is the ideal sensorial experience.

What is So Important about Outdoor Education?

A child discovers the world through his senses in the most holistic way. Beyond the organic development through seeing, smelling, hearing, feeling, and, yes, I am going to write it, tasting in the great outdoors, nature brings ripe lessons in botany, zoology, and STEM in the most basic, pure ways.

Outdoor Classroom Ideas: Learn 75+ Activities for Your Learning Environment

Anne Botsford Comstock, the author of one of my favorite books, Handbook of Nature Study, emphasized observation as the foundation of outdoor education:

Outdoor Learning Ideas

Ideas for the Outdoor Classroom

Key Tenets of Montessori Outdoor Education

So, what are the key tenets of a Montessori outdoor education? The same as the key tenets of the indoor classroom! A few key tenets that come to my mind include:

  • Child-Led
  • Well Prepared Environment
  • Teacher as Guide
  • Liberty within wide parameters
  • Intrinsic Motivation
  • Observe the Child

Outdoor Classroom Ideas: Learn 75+ Activities for Your Learning Environment

“A child, than anyone else, is a spontaneous observer of nature.” ~ Dr. Montessori

Montessori Outdoor Classroom Ideas

Practical Life Outdoor Classroom Ideas

Outdoor Classroom Ideas: Learn 75+ Activities for Your Learning Environment

Sensorial Outdoor Classroom Ideas

  • Patterns in nature with rocks and leaves
  • Stacking
  • Make a variation of the red rods with sticks
  • Make a variation of the pink tower with rocks
  • Go on a Geometric Solids Hunt
  • Identifying Smells
  • Listening Walk
  • Texture Hunt
  • Match Textures
  • Color Hunt
  • Shape Hunt
  • 2D and 3D Shape Hunt
  • Series of “Isolation of Quality” Observations with a blindfold, earplugs, nose plug, etc.


Language Outdoor Classroom Ideas

  • Have a conversation while on a nature walk
  • Storytelling from a group of items
  • Choose a tree, tell its story
  • Go on a noun/verb/adjective/preposition hunt
  • Grain of sand sequencing
  • Texture hunt
  • Letter creation challenge with sticks
  • Proposition work with bodies or objects
  • Trace letters in the dirt
  • Go on a sound hunt
  • “Just one thing” activity
  • Command Games using Chalk (e.g. write “hop” and have the child “hop”)
  • Parts of speech game (e.g. when I say a noun, hop on one foot. when I say an adjective, sit down.”)

Outdoor Classroom Ideas: Learn 75+ Activities for Your Learning Environment

Math Outdoor Classroom Ideas

  • Non-standard measures of plant growth
  • Counting seeds
  • Make a hundred board from pebbles or rocks
  • Leaf symmetry
  • What’s Missing? game
  • Estimation games with birds, trees, seeds, leaves, etc
  • Graphing nature items collected on a walk

Outdoor Classroom Ideas: Learn 75+ Activities for Your Learning Environment

Science & Engineering Outdoor Classroom Ideas

  • Create your own natural history museum
  • Build simple machines from natural objects like sticks and rocks
  • Worm tower
  • Lifecycle Work
  • Plant seeds
  • Spin, climb, jump with one eye open
  • Take pulse before and after running, hopping, skipping, and walking
  • Shadow drawing over a day
  • Make a Sun Dial
  • Birdsong identification
  • Create a device to observe and measure wind direction & speed
  • Observe weather
  • Observe clouds
  • Make a discovery by taking a pond dip
  • Build with sticks & the natural materials
  • Build a dam
  • Study scat
  • Balance rocks

Geography Outdoor Classroom Ideas

  • Discuss animals in your area & their habitats
  • Migrators versus hibernators versus adaptors
  • Hours of daylight
  • Star Gazing
  • Study habitats
  • Land, air, & water
  • Visit various landforms or create mini landforms from natural materials
  • Collect, explore, & study Rocks & Minerals in your area

Outdoor Classroom Ideas

Art & Music Outdoor Classroom Ideas

  • Nature Collage
  • Petal painting
  • Dreamcatchers
  • Wands
  • “Just one thing” artwork
  • Observational drawings
  • Create a song
  • Dance to nature’s sounds
  • Study the sounds and rhythms of nature
  • Make musical instruments from natural objects
  • Rhythmic movements like galloping, sidestepping, etc.

Helpful Resources for the Outdoor Classroom

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