Chilly weather shouldn’t stop your school and nursery children from having fun. In this blog, we’re going to share our favourite outdoor classroom ideas for winter.
The winter environment offers lots of fun learning opportunities for young children and gives them the chance to get some fresh air whilst enjoying an array of sensory experiences. Plus, the children will benefit from the exercise.
During the winter months, remind parents to send their children to school in warm clothing. After all, there’s no such thing as being too cold… just poorly dressed! Ensure each child is wrapped up warm in a coat, hat, scarf and gloves with appropriate footwear. It’s handy to have a box with spare hats, scarves and gloves in case one of the children forget to bring their own.
Harvesting Winter Vegetables
If you have an outdoor planter, you can harvest delicious veg all year round. Having a vegetable patch has so many learning opportunities. Getting the children involved in the planting and harvesting of the vegetables teaches them to be responsible and to plan ahead.
It also a good opportunity to talk about the environment and teach the children about where their food really comes from (Hint: not the supermarket!). Harvesting a veggie patch also teaches children about being patient and encourages healthy eating.
During the winter months, you could harvest delicious winter veg including turnips, swedes, Brussel sprouts and parsnips.
Winter Scavenger Hunt
Head out to the outdoor classroom and separate your class into small groups or pairs. Then give them a clipboard and a tick-list of winter-themed items that they have to find. Focusing on nature is an effective way to incorporate learning into this fun activity.
For example, the list of things to collect may include pinecones and fallen leaves from specific trees. Once the children have finished the winter scavenger hunt, return to the outdoor classroom and encourage them to describe their findings, i.e. colour, texture, smell etc.
Create Landscape Art
This is a wonderful activity that can be enjoyed during all the seasons and enables the children to get creative.
During the autumn months, take the children outside to the outdoor classroom or benches and ask them to describe the landscape. As a class, discuss what the landscape looks like, the colour of the sky and trees etc.
Then head back indoors and have each child draw a picture of the Autumn landscape. A few months later when winter is in full swing, take the children outdoors (wrapped up warm) and ask them to once again describe the landscape before each drawing a picture of the winter landscape.
Finally, in the summer months, do the whole process again. Encourage the children to use leaves, twigs and other objects to decorate their pictures.
By the end of it, each child should have drawn three very different landscape pictures, which can then be transformed into a beautiful Seasonal Collage for the classroom wall.
Celebrate Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is a fascinating celebration and a fantastic opportunity to teach children about different cultures from around the world.
Show videos of Chinese New Year celebrations and tell the children the Chinese Zodiac story of the 12 animals and the race they took part in.
Once the children are familiar with the age-old story, get creative with arts and crafts and create large posters of each animal. Then, wrap up warm, head outdoors and have the children recreate the story with their 12 animal posters. The posters will then make a great display for the classroom.
Build A Snowman
Outdoor classroom ideas for winter don’t have to take lots of planning. If you are lucky enough to get snowfall (but not so much that school has to close!) you can enjoy some classic winter fun by building a snowman with your class.
Simply separate the children into groups and have each group build various parts of the snowman before putting him together and adding the finishes touches as a whole class.
Building a snowman is a great teambuilding activity and will help the children develop their communication skills whilst letting them have fun in the snow.
Turn Outdoor Play Equipment Into Santa’s Sleigh
Outdoor classroom ideas for winter are much easier if you have quality outdoor play equipment. For example, if your playground has outdoor play equipment, such as a boat or galleon, you can transform it into a sleigh and have some festive fun.
Help the children create beautiful pinecone garlands in all different colours, collect lots of tinsel and maybe even get some solar-powered outdoor lights. Then let the children go wild with the decorations and turn the boat or galleon into a sleigh fit for Santa.
Get In Touch To Bring Your Outdoor Classroom Ideas For Winter To Life
If you are looking for wooden playground equipment or would like more tips for outdoor classroom play, we can help. At Discovering Days, we design, and manufacture quality outdoor playground equipment.
Our wide range of wooden playground equipment is made with love and care to ensure the utmost safety and durability. We also pride ourselves on meeting all playground equipment safety standards.
You can contact us here for more information or you can call us on 01282 416 755 to discuss any of our products.
Our staff are all fully trained in the design and manufacture of wooden play equipment for children and are experts in understanding what works best in the space you have. We have worked with a range of schools in the past and understand the challenges that come with creating playground equipment for children of all abilities.