This post was written as a submission to the Teach/Learn blogging carnival, hosted by Science@home. This month's theme is "Outdoors". Submissions are due by May 29th.
My daughter and I spend most of our time outdoors. That's one of the perks of living in Africa where the weather permits it year round. One of the best ways to ensure outdoor time is to make sure that everyone's wants can be fulfilled outdoors just as well as indoors. For this to be possible, you have to make some arrangements in your outdoor space. Even if your outdoor space is limited, there are ways to apply some of these ideas.
|Image: Tanya Little|
- Get electrical outlets. This way you can do any electronic activity outdoors too. Want to watch a movie, work on the laptop? No problem.
- Provide lighting. Nothing more pleasing then to sit outside when night falls (maybe you'll have t put up some citronella bushes and candles to keep those annoying disease spreaders away.
- Covered area. Playing outside when it rains is fun, but not all activities are adapted to the humidity. If you're setting up living spaces, it's better to have them covered, so there's shade and protection from the weather.
- Set up living spaces. If you've got the room, set up a variety of seating, maybe a table or daybed for naps.
- The outdoors gives you an appetite. This is where the table comes in (or you could opt for a more close to the earth dinner space, some pillows and a blanket or rug would do the trick). Put up a barbeque or organize frequent picnics.
- Veggie patch. Cultivating your own vegetables makes eating greens way more appealing, and it gives you a reason to step in the garden on a regular basis. If you have limited space, you can do vertical gardening or container gardening.
- Specific outdoor activities. Now we can take all the indoor activities outside, it's also interesting to have specific play that is only possible outdoors, so the outdoors becomes extra appealing. A little tree house, a sandpit, a puddle pool, a swing. Some outdoor play units don't take up a lot of room; we have a climber that you just hang in a tree or on a beam, it takes up very little space and my daughter loves it. She can climb it and swing it, pretend its a tunnel... It doesn't have to be expensive to arrange outdoor play areas. All you need is a few logs, some pebbles, a heap of sand, a rope tied to a branch...
|Image: Kathleen Steegmans|
I have to congratulation the Teach/Learn participants this month, due to all the insane things happening around here there weren't little reminders sent out. It's nice to know people remembered on their own! But they have come up with some great ideas for getting outside while you teach and learn.
- Catherine from Adventures With Kids created some garden mobiles to decorate the trees around their sandpit.
- Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares some of her favorite ways her family discovered to fully experience nature wherever they lived.
- Jenny Kable from Let the Children Play had her students creating their own obstacle course, because if you give children loads of interupted time to play in an outdoor environment filled with enticing loose parts, their imagination and creativity really takes off.
- Mamapoekie from Authentic Parenting wrote about making the outdoors and extension of your home, to encourage outdoor time by making your garden homely and attractive.
- Monique at Your Cheeky Monkey is exploring outside play ideas for winter with her boys.
- Deb from Science@home had a whole list of ideas for playing outside with cute pictures.