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Celebrating Earth Day Outdoors: Educational Activities for Children and Young People

Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22nd to raise awareness about the importance of protecting our planet and its precious resources. This special day offers an excellent opportunity for outdoor and environmental education, particularly for early years, children, and young people. By engaging with nature, children can learn valuable lessons about sustainability and the importance of caring for the environment, while also benefiting from the numerous health advantages that come from outdoor exposure. In this blog, we will explore a variety of educational activities that can be done outside, highlighting the benefits on both physical and psychological health.


Outdoor Educational Activities:


Nature Maths: Take advantage of the natural world to teach maths concepts like counting, sorting, and pattern recognition. Collect leaves, twigs, and stones, and ask children to group them by size, shape, or colour. Create nature patterns by alternating items, or have the children count the petals on flowers and compare the numbers.
Storytelling and Literacy: Encourage children to create their own stories inspired by the natural world around them. Take a walk through a nearby park or woodland, and ask the young people to observe their surroundings. Use these observations to create characters and plotlines. Additionally, you can bring books outdoors to read and discuss stories featuring nature and wildlife.

Outdoor Physics: Use the playground or park to explore concepts like gravity, force, and motion. Create simple experiments like rolling balls down slides, swinging on swings, or dropping objects from different heights to discuss the principles at play. Encourage children to observe and question what they see, fostering a sense of curiosity about the world.

Creative Play and Arts: Provide materials like leaves, twigs, flowers, and stones for children to create natural collages or sculptures. Allow them to use their imagination and create art pieces inspired by their surroundings. This activity promotes creativity and helps children connect with the environment on a deeper level.

Environmental Awareness: Teach children the importance of preserving the environment and its resources through activities like litter picking, planting trees or flowers, and learning about local wildlife. Discuss the role that each person plays in caring for the Earth and the impact of our actions on the environment.

Health Benefits of Outdoor Exposure:


Spending time outdoors has been shown to provide numerous health benefits for children and young people. Some of these benefits include:


Physical Health: Outdoor activities encourage children to engage in physical exercise, which is essential for their overall health and development. Playing outside improves motor skills, balance, and coordination, while also reducing the risk of obesity and promoting healthy bone development.

Mental Health: Exposure to nature has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression in children. Being outdoors provides opportunities for relaxation and mindfulness, allowing young people to develop a sense of calm and mental resilience.

Cognitive Development: Outdoor education and play encourage problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making skills, which are essential for cognitive development. Engaging with nature also stimulates curiosity and creativity, fostering a love of learning that extends beyond the classroom.

Social Skills: Participating in group activities and outdoor play helps children develop vital social skills such as communication, teamwork, and empathy. These interactions can lead to the formation of strong bonds and friendships, contributing to emotional well-being.

Earth Day offers a wonderful opportunity to appreciate the beauty of our planet and the resources it provides. By engaging children and young people in outdoor education and environmental activities, we can help them develop a deeper understanding and respect for the Earth. At the same time, we can enjoy the numerous health benefits that come from spending time outside, creating a stronger and healthier generation that will care for our planet in the years to come.


So, this Earth Day, let’s head outdoors with our children and young people to explore the wonders of nature, learn important educational principles, and foster a greater appreciation for the Earth. By doing so, we can encourage a future generation of environmentally conscious individuals who will work together to protect our planet for generations to come. Happy Earth Day!