10 activity ideas for Outdoor Classroom Day

10 activity ideas for Outdoor Classroom Day

It's time to break free and bring the magic of learning outside! In today's blog post, we are going to explore the wonders of Outdoor Classroom Day and discuss how you can plan engaging activities outdoors, all while aligning with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

What is Outdoor Classroom Day? 

Outdoor Classroom Day is an annual global campaign that encourages teachers and practitioners to take learning outside and provide children with valuable hands-on experiences in nature. It's a day to celebrate the benefits of outdoor play and education, both for children's well-being and their holistic development.


Children playing outside in forest

Why embrace the outdoors? 

Nature is a treasure trove of learning opportunities! When children are exposed to the outdoors, they engage their senses, develop physical skills, and foster a curiosity for the natural world. Outdoor play also encourages independent thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. It's a win-win situation!


two children playing in the mud

Planning outdoor activities

To make the most of Outdoor Classroom Day, it's important to ensure that your activities align with the EYFS framework. Here are a few tips to help you plan:

Know your goals:

Identify the specific learning areas you want to focus on. Are you working on communication and language skills, physical development, or perhaps understanding the world?

Adapt your activities:

Take your existing lesson plans and find ways to incorporate outdoor elements. For example, if you're teaching about shapes, set up a scavenger hunt to find objects with specific shapes in the outdoor environment.

Explore the natural world:

Encourage children to explore and investigate their surroundings. Provide opportunities for them to discover different textures, plants, insects, and animals. This will enhance their understanding of the world around them.

Foster open-ended play:

Allow children the freedom to engage in open-ended play. Provide loose parts, such as sticks, stones, and leaves, that they can manipulate and use for creative purposes.

Reflect and assess:

Remember to observe and assess children's progress during outdoor activities. Document their achievements and use this information to inform future planning.

Safety considerations:

While the great outdoors offer endless possibilities, safety should always be a priority. Ensure you have a risk assessment in place, familiarise yourself with your outdoor area, and address any potential hazards. Communicate safety rules to children and ensure adequate supervision throughout.



10 lesson ideas for Outdoor Classroom Day


 Children planting seeds outdoors

1. Planting and gardening (understanding the world)

Give children the opportunity to plant seeds or tend to a small garden. This hands-on experience allows them to learn about plants, growth, and the environment, aligning with the EYFS understanding of the world.


children counting outdoors

2. Maths in nature (mathematics)

Use natural objects like stones, leaves, or sticks to teach basic maths concepts. Children can count, sort, and compare items found in the outdoor environment, enhancing their mathematical understanding.


children yoga class outdoors

3. Outdoor yoga and mindfulness (physical development, personal, social, and emotional development)

Incorporate yoga and mindfulness activities to help children develop physical coordination and emotional regulation. These activities are beneficial for children with a range of SEND and can be adapted to suit their abilities and comfort levels.

4. Storytelling with picture cards (literacy)

Use picture cards that represent various outdoor elements to help children with communication difficulties tell their own stories. This method promotes language development and literacy skills for children with speech and language delays.


children on a nature scavenger hunt

5. Nature scavenger hunt (communication and language)

Create a list of natural items like leaves, flowers, or rocks for the children to find. As they search for these items, encourage them to communicate and share their discoveries with their peers, developing language skills and teamwork.

6. Sound scavenger hunt (communication and language)

Instead of visual items, create a sound scavenger hunt where children listen for specific sounds in the outdoor environment. This activity can be adjusted to focus on the auditory senses and enhance communication skills.


Children searching for bugs

7. Mini beast hunt (understanding the world)

Discover the small creatures that inhabit the outdoor environment. Provide magnifying glasses and encourage children to investigate insects, spiders, and other mini beasts, fostering curiosity and scientific exploration.

8. Nature art collaborations (expressive arts and design)

Encourage collaborative art projects where children work together to create nature-based art. This promotes cooperation and allows children with different abilities to contribute to the final piece.


Children playing with leaves

9. Sensory exploration (personal, social, and emotional development)

Set up sensory stations where children can explore different textures, smells, and sounds in the outdoor world. This activity helps them build sensory awareness and emotional regulation.


Birds on a feeder

10. Bird watching and bird feeding (understanding the world)

Observe and identify local bird species in your outdoor space. Provide bird feeders and encourage children to help birds by refilling them regularly. This activity teaches care for the environment and understanding of the world.

children throwing leaves in the air

Outdoor Classroom Day is an excellent opportunity for Early Years Practitioners and Early Years Teachers to engage their students in hands-on, nature-based learning experiences. By integrating these outdoor lesson ideas into your curriculum, you not only enhance children's understanding of the world but also promote physical activity, creativity, and a deep connection to the natural environment. By aligning your activities with the EYFS framework, you can ensure that children are not only having fun but also making meaningful progress in their development.

Incorporating inclusive practices, such as adapting activities for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), ensures that all children, regardless of their abilities, can fully participate and benefit from the enriching outdoor classroom experiences.

 So, grab your coats, put on your explorers' hats, and let's make learning an adventure! Remember, embracing the outdoors is not just reserved for one special day. Encourage regular outdoor learning experiences and watch as your children thrive in the natural world. Happy Outdoor Classroom Day, everyone! 


Learn More

If you would like to learn more about our range of Early Years programmes, including Early Years SENCO Level 3, please visit our Early Years website, call us on 0117 920 9428 or email at  enquiries@bestpracticenet.co.uk