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Inspiration and Information About the Outdoors

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It’s still spring, and the perfect time to plant sunflowers for the summer. But instead of planting them in a neat rows, consider turning them into a sunflower house! Here are some ways you can do it:  Plant a Sunflower House Building a Sunflower House with Kids Creating a Sunflower Fort    Photo by kburrgraf1

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This week, teach your students how to set goals. Then have your students write down a list of goals they’d like to accomplish this summer. Be sure to include things that get them outdoors in the fresh air. Start by brainstorming as a class, then have the students write down their own list. Invite them …

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This mother’s day, help mom enjoy some time outdoors. Here are some ideas:  Set up a hammock so she can read or nap outside  Take a hike together Have a picnic  Visit a new park  Go for a family bike ride Play Frisbee golf  Go kayaking or canoeing Pick a wildflower bouquet together Attend an …

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Join other classes around the world for Outdoor Classroom Day on May 23! To find out more and to sign up, click here.    Photo by GaborFromHungary

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Spring is blooming! Visit your local library and check out some flower identification books. Then find some wildflowers in your area and identify what kind they are. You may want to take along a nature journal to make a record of what you see.    Photo by Fracticality

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Haiku is a form of poetry that originated in Japan. It is made up of 17 syllables in 3 lines that usually don’t rhyme. Traditionally, haiku focuses on the natural world. This week, have your students write their own haiku about nature. Just follow the form below:  LINE 1: 5 syllables LINE 2: 7 syllables …

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This weekend, find a local farm to visit. Since it’s springtime, chances are you’ll get to see some calves, lambs, or kids while you’re there.    Photo by carolwerner   

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All you need for this creative activity are some smooth pebbles, canvas boards, and twigs. Click here to find out how to get started. 

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This weekend, head outdoors with your favorite color of chalk and get creative! If you don’t have a paved driveway or sidewalk, ask around to see if there’s somewhere else you could draw. The local churches, the  library, or a  community center might be willing to share their space, especially if you have a group …

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Take your students outside this week for an alphabet scavenger hunt. Students can work alone or in pairs. Instruct the students to find something outside that begins with each letter in the alphabet. You can include any object they see, or you can limit the objects to only those found on the playground or those …

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Grab your cameras and cell phones! Using forced perspective, you can create photos with fun optical illusions. For ideas and more information on how to get started, check out these sites:  Easy Trick Photography Even a Kid Can Do  Secret Tip: Forced Perspective Photography 7 Tips for Creating Excellent Forced Perspective Photographs 

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This activity will challenge students to see things from a different perspective as they practice writing creatively. Here’s what to do:  Instruct the students to take notebooks and pencils and head outside. Next, have each student locate a crawling insect (no flying insects as they are too difficult to follow).  Students are to follow that …

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This weekend, find a creek in a park and follow it. Take a phone or camera along to photograph what you find.    Photo by Anugama

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This week, take a few minutes to review the water cycle. Then head outside as a class to find evidence of it. Here are come good reference sites: National Geographic – “Water Cycle” Nasa – “Precipitation Education” Peer – “The Water Cycle” Photo by Erean

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This weekend, make your own butterfly feeder. There are lots of directions for different types of feeders online. Here’s one to try. All you need is a plastic 2-liter bottle, a hole punch, a needle, some string, hot glue and a glue gun, a cotton ball, and some artificial flowers. Other DIY feeders you can …

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This week, take your class out on a sensory walk. Start with a short lesson about the five sense. Then, take your students outside with notebooks and pencils. Have them record the things they feel, hear, see, and smell. They could also include what they would taste if they were tasting things. Come back together …

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This week, help your students kick off their own gardens by starting seeds indoors! To begin, provide students with a list of plants that do well when started indoors. You can find the list here. Then check the planting calendar for your area. Simply put in your zip code to find out the best time …

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What wild birds live near your home? Take a walk in a park and see what feathers you can find. Then try to identify them using The Feather Atlas by the Fish and Wildlife Service.     Photo by Bryan Hanson  

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This week, head outside during reading time! Whether students are reading alone or in groups, have them take their books outdoors to read in the fresh air. It’s a whole different kind of reading experience! When you go back inside, discuss the differences the students noticed between reading outside and reading in the classroom. Which …

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Spring is in the air — hopefully it’s showing up in your weather forecast, too! This weekend, enjoy the warmer temperatures by letting your creativity flow, and build some fairy houses! You can use just mud, twigs, hand grass; you can use a few extra supplies such as glue, hot glue, a sharpie, and string;or you could start off with a basic structure and adding natural embellishments.  Photo by cherniedurbin

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