"In this classroom, relationships are fostered, families are respected, and children are honored.
In this classroom, nature's gifts are valued and children's thoughts are captured.
In this classroom, learning is alive and aesthetic beauty is appreciated." -Unknown

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Get 'Em Outdoors! Part 1

"A new study shows that even brief encounters with parks or forests may have beneficial impacts on human hormone cycles, critical to the body’s response to stress." Conservation Magazine
I read the above quote today from an article another blogger had posted and it made me think about all the outdoor activities we do. Kids love variety and using their imaginations. I started looking through some of our outdoor images and decided to share some of them with you. This will be part 1 and will cover some of the outdoor activities from the 2010-2011 school year.

Obstacle course: river stones, hoops, tunnel, mats.
We visited Whiskeytown National Park one morning and found
animal tracks on the beach into which we poured plaster of Paris
and later lifted out the track casts. Too cool!!

Dancing to music from the iPod while watching the shadow dance.
Planting a flower garden
Parachute play with our 5th grade buddies.

Each fall we set up a farmer's market and the
kiddos enjoy pulling a wagon and pushing
around a wheelbarrow of fall harvest items.

Body outline chalk drawings. Lots of fun!

Each year we celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day with
a variety of activities. After creating a treasure map inside, we followed
the master treasure map and ended up digging for treasure in the sandbox.

Visiting the school garden is always a hit. Some of
our lunch items come from there.


  1. Love your outdoor play ideas, my favourite is the shadow dancing! I've shared a link to your post on my Facebook page, hope that's ok.

  2. Thanks, Cathy! It's ABSOLUTELY ok that you've shared a link to my post. I firmly believe in sharing the wealth. Here is a link to my Facebook page for For the Children, as well. https://www.facebook.com/pages/For-the-Children/170943436350531 If people "like" it, they will be notified every time I put up a new post or share other wonderful blog posts from other bloggers.

    I'm hoping to get the word out and reach many people. I believe the more ideas we have the better our programs/experiences can be for the kids. Thanks so much!!

    The shadow dancing totally cracked me up that day. I had some really upbeat music playing and the kids kind of always danced around to it and such, but on this particular day the girls started noticing their shadows and how they moved when they did and began doing some pretty elaborate moves. It was priceless!!

  3. Lots of great ideas here. Love the simplicity of the shadow dancing. Cute!

    1. Thanks, Margaret. Isn't that how it usually goes? When we, as adults, plan out complex activities, they often don't go as well as we'd planned, but when we give children basic materials, they use their imaginations and creativity and come up with something uniquely special. Gotta love it!!

  4. What a great list of outdoor ideas! Great inspiration. I need to try body tracing with chalk outside with my daughter. She would have fun with that. Thank you for sharing at The Outdoor Play Party. I hope you can come again this Friday to share more ideas with us.

    1. Thanks, Rebekah. The chalk drawings are always a hit. There's just something about seeing their little bodies outlined after they get up and look back on it that bring big smiles to their faces.

  5. i tried to 'follow you on Pinterest' & it brought up a different name/follower .... might want to check the contact info.

    1. Thank you so much for letting me know. I clicked on it myself and it pulled up a stranger, as well. I've deleted the tab and re-installed it now. This should take care of it. Thanks again! I wonder how many of her followers thought they were following me??

  6. Lovely post - thanks for blogging about outdoor play and thanks so much for being kind enough to post a link to my blog. Are you in the pre-school bloggers group on Facebook?

    1. Thanks, Juliet. Yes, I'm a member of the Preschool + Blogger Network and the group Creating a Play-Based Classroom group. Jackie from Happy Hooligans invited me to both of them.

  7. I love this, Barbara! You do so many wonderful things outdoors! In this day in age, when children are spending less and less time outside, your children are so fortunate to have a teacher like you who believes in the importance of outside play. Thanks so much for sharing on the Outdoor Play Party!

  8. Lovely ideas. Thanks for sharing.