Even though the weather in Northern Colorado doesn’t quite warm up until mid to late April, spring is, in fact, here! So on the next warm (and hopefully dry) day, and if your family is feeling a little stir-crazy being stuck in the house for weeks, get outside and explore!
Northern Colorado is a great place to spend time outside and the staff at New Vision Charter School in Loveland believes that outdoor learning activities are a great way to keep students engaged and curious. We are passionate about providing our students with a safe and nurturing environment at both of our Loveland locations, but if you have a free weekend or want to get outside after a long day in the house, we encourage you to continue the learning outside of the traditional classroom, literally!
Get Outdoors and Keep Kids Learning and Engaged
Go on a Texture Walk
Kids are naturally curious, but sometimes you have to give them a little guidance. This activity combines a little bit of science and language arts. Start by having your kids think of words that describe how something feels — rough, smooth, bumpy, prickly, furry, etc. Then, find a place to explore outside, whether it’s taking a day trip to RMNP or staying closer to home and walk around the Loveland Sculpture Garden. Have your kids find things that match the words they came up with. Then talk about the items they found! You can even turn the items into an art project!
Explore From a Different Perspective
This activity can be completed right in your own backyard! There are dozens of creatures in the world that are either super small, live in trees, or fly in the air. Rather than having your kids climb trees, which can be unsafe, have them shrink down to get the unique perspective of an earthworm or a spider.
All you have to do is simply lie on the ground and get your eyes as close as possible to the earth. Then look around! Look at how different the trees look, the grass, your house; imagine trying to move around and navigate through the jungle of grass; or imagine trying to climb a tree to avoid predators. Ask your kids how they felt being small and possibly have them write a fun short story about their experience.
Make an All-Natural Bird Feeder
We hear birds all the time, but do we really take the time to look at them or learn their names and behaviors? From downy woodpeckers to white-breasted nuthatches, mourning doves, finches, and black-billed magpies, there are dozens of Colorado birds to study.
Have your kids make their own bird feeder using a pinecone, a long piece of string, peanut butter or sunflower butter, and birdseed. Generously spread peanut or sunflower butter all over the pinecone and press the birdseed into the pinecone. Then hang the bird feeder from a tree in your yard. Sit back and watch as birds land on the feeder to eat the seeds. Take notes on the size of their wings, the color of their feathers, and what song they sing. You can then try to identify what birds landed using a bird watching book.
Spending time outside is healthy for everyone and is a great opportunity to learn more about the world around us. At New Vision Charter School, we love watching children have fun and learning at the same time.
If you’ve been cooped up in your house, use these outdoor activities to encourage your family to get outside and take in the sights and sounds of nature. If you have any questions or want to learn more about our charter school, get in touch with us today!