From having fun at the playground to resuming outdoor sports, warmer weather leads to happier children. Outdoor settings make almost every activity more fun, and that is especially true when it comes to one topic that frequently makes children groan with disappointment: education. Kids tend to associate learning with textbooks and pop quizzes, and while standard educational materials are important, so are the games that make learning fun. How can you make children have fun while learning? Simply combine the age old love of picnics with educational games, and kids will not be able to resist having fun while they learn!
You can treat children to an outdoor lunch or plan a whole day outdoors. Educational picnic games can be long or short. You can tailor picnic activities to meet your schedule and your surroundings. Just pick your location, bring along some food, and gather any materials you may need for the games you choose to play. With the following suggestions, your students will learn how fun education can be.
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Going on a Picnic
We’ve all played the traditional Going on a Picnic game. Why not play it while you’re actually at a picnic? Have your students sit in a large circle and explain the rules of the game. You can either choose a child to start or begin the game on a silly note. If you choose the latter option, stand in the center of the circle and spin around with your eyes shut while the children count down from ten. When they reach the final number, point your finger at the student in front of you. That child will start the game and the rest of the class will be in a playful mood from seeing their teacher act like one of the students.
The first child begins by saying, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing a _______.” Have the child fill in the blank with a word that begins with the letter ‘A.’ The next child repeats what the first child says and adds in an item that begins with the letter ‘B.’ Each student repeats what came before and adds a word that begins with the next letter. As the game goes on, it becomes harder and harder to remember all the items. When a child breaks the chain, the game restarts with that student beginning with a new word that starts with the letter ‘A.’
Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
Before your picnic, come up with a list of adjectives that could describe items your students would find in their picnic area. You could use words like “pointy,” “crunchy,” or “unique” to ensure each description would fit a variety of objects. Use higher or lower levels of vocabulary based on students’ ages. Split the children into teams of four to five students and give them all a copy of your list. Set a time limit and tell your students when to go. When the time is up, yell for your students to return. Have each group show their items and explain why they chose them. At the end of this activity, your students will realize how versatile words can be and how there are a lot of ways to interpret their surroundings.
There are tons of ways to help children learn the fun way by playing educational games at a picnic. Kids should know that learning is fun and a picnic is the perfect setting for them to learn that lesson firsthand. You can transform any game into an educational picnic activity. The only limit is your imagination – and imagination is one resource that comes naturally to every educator.