the blog: on education outside

Risky Play Resources

Risky Play: Why Kids Need It

In my work with teachers I am often asked what risky play is. Risky play is simply a way of organizing observed categories of thrilling play that children engage in when they test their physical limits during unstructured play outdoors. The term “risky play” is gaining momentum in mainstream teaching and

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water cycle inquiry
Science Outdoors

Water Cycle Inquiry

As a start, water cycles are best experienced, rather than read about. There is no worksheet that can fully capture the water cycle phenomenon, like being out in the rain in your community can. Encourage your class to dress like a scientist, and gear up for outdoor learning when you

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best books about rain
Book Recommendations

Best Books About Rain

If you are going to teach outdoors, you’ll need to make your peace with some rainy days. Rather than seeing rainy days as yucky weather to tolerate, why not look at rainy days as an opportunity to explore and play and learn about the water cycle in a hands on

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Inclement Weather

Rainy Day Play Ideas

Opportunities for playing in rain are sorely missing in many childhoods. It often seems like decisions to stay inside at recess are randomly decided after glancing out a window to check for drops of rain in puddles. One of the few benefits of covid has been an increased awareness across

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How to Build a Tippy Tap

Once Covid became a realty in our schools, the urgency to take students outdoors increased. Across Canada, a return to face to face learning saw public health officials, district administrators, and families calling on educators to find creative ways to get more kids outdoors more often. Don’t forget, this blog

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Best kid clothing for learning outdoors

Learning outdoors has been around forever. With a commitment to reducing communicable disease transmission, our kids are likely to spend even more time outdoors at school going forward. For some families this is a welcome acknowledgment of what they know to be true: kids are happier, healthier, and learn more

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What To Wear Teaching Outside

Formal outdoor education programs are very different than outdoor classrooms. That said, teaching outdoors still requires some planning and preparation, particularly if you are going to spend the majority of your day in less than ideal weather conditions. Scandinavian proverbs remind us there is no such thing as bad weather,

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Professional Library for Outdoor Educators

Over the last twenty years I’ve been teaching and learning outside in a variety of capacities. Both as a parent and a professional educator, I am endlessly fascinated by the power of nature to transform children’s experiences of school and learning. This post lists recommended books that have inspired my

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How to Build a Music Wall in your Outdoor Classroom

Music Is Not My Strongest Subject But… Of all the curricular content I teach as an elementary school educator, music is likely my weakest subject area. What I don’t know about music, I make up for in my enthusiasm and expertise in outdoor play! So when a cohort of teacher

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fairy nature wings completed
Imaginative Play Outdoors

Fairy Nature Wings

Our fairy nature wings were dreamed up with a group of students who love playing in the fairy garden, but needed some reminders to remain physically distant. Fairy nature wings became a perfect solution for extending imaginary fairy garden play, while naturally encouraging some physical distancing with the span of

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