Preschool - Off Campus Outdoor Activities

Here are some fun activities to try with your preschoolers!

Items needed: (2-4) five-gallon buckets, (1-2) 15-20′ ropes if 2, then tied in the middle, 2-4 participants

How to play: Have participants stand on the five-gallon buckets that have been turned upside down and place one end of the rope in their hands. Have them tighten up on the rope so there is no slack. For safety, it might be a good idea to have spotters around each participant. Some students are hard core (especially older students) and don’t want to lose so they will likely hold on to the rope while they dive head-first into the ground. Last participant still standing on their bucket wins!

    • Can’t go outside today? Set up a world-watching window. Bring the outside in. Many of us don’t have the option of hiking or spending time in the backyard. Find a window view or other view designed to induce feelings of deep relaxation, awe, and vitality. Air and light pollution prevent two-thirds of the U.S. population and more than half of Europe’s population from seeing the Milky Way with the naked eye. But if your family is lucky enough to live where the stars are visible, stargaze in the evening or very early morning. With your kids, locate a few key constellations and orient to those. Other world-watch window activities can include cloudspotting, bird-watching, and more. Keep handy: a nature notebook, field guides for birds and stars, binoculars, a telescope, a digital camera with a telephoto lens, and maybe even a sound recorder to capture the sounds of the natural world. Other ways to bring the outside in: Indoor plants, as many as possible, will help. Especially native species. No plants? Send for seeds, especially for native plants if you can find them, and make an indoor garden in your apartment or house. Also, keep learning about nature.

    • Want to go on a tour of a National Park? Click Here

    • Plant a family or friendship tree, or adopt one. Nurturing nature is a positive action to take wherever you live. Adopt or plant a tree to help mark important family occasions—a holiday, a birth, or marriage. Every week, check your adopted tree or shrub and note any changes. Make bark rubbings using crayons and paper. Make a digital adoption notebook with photos, videos, and observations. Plant its seeds. To get started, visit Project Budburst or Nature’s Notebook, and set up an account for your adopted tree or shrub. Acts of caring for others and nurturing nature build psychological and spiritual resilience at a time when children and adults most need it.

    • Got dirt? Set aside a piece of ground in the backyard for kids to dig in. Research suggests that children strengthen their immune systems by playing in the dirt—and weaken those systems by avoiding dirt.

Need inspiration during the school shutdowns? We've compiled over 130 ideas to help encourage free play with your kids, as well as structured outdoor learning projects and experiments.

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