the blog: on education outside

Nature Inspired Arts & Crafts

Valentine’s Day Ideas for Your Outdoor Classroom

Teaching outside has a long list of challenges, and trying to complete paper crafts in the wind, rain or snow tops my list of tasks that are nearly impossible! With Valentine’s Day being a holiday primarily made up of paper crafts, here is a round up of alternative, eco-friendly, Valentine’s Day

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Book Recommendations

The Perfect Nest: An Outdoor Classroom Inquiry Project

The emergent curriculum is a valuable tool in any outdoor classroom. I often have specific plans for my students that are never quite realized, simply because something more engaging or emergent arises. In our ‘The Perfect Nest’ inquiry, students had been playing and using straw bales in the play area

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Literacy Outdoors

Storytelling in Nature

Walking, working and playing in nature invites children’s imaginations to create stories that reflect their lived experiences, their wonders and their understandings of the world around them. With children of all ages, using the natural world as a space for storytelling in nature is a manageable first step to the

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School Garden Basics

Winter Gardening With Kids

I teach in an outdoor classroom. The most common question I get is “what do you do in the winter?” There are so many reasons to get outdoors and learning in all seasons, and winter is no exception. I’m a big advocate for unstructured play in the garden, especially in

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Book Recommendations

13 Best Picture Books for Understanding Seasonal Change in K-5

In British Columbia we are working with a revised curriculum that is practically written to be taught outdoors! The big ideas and curricular content of seasonal change is required teaching from Kindergarten to grade 5. Of course, the best way to understand seasonal change is to go outside and experience

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Nature Inspired Arts & Crafts

Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night For Kids

One of my favourite art projects this time of year is inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night. Classrooms can be chaotic as we get closer to winter break, but this activity reminds us to look closely while supporting calm, focussed creative expression. It requires very little planning or preparation, and

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Family Life

Best Teacher Gifts From Kids

As a teacher, I can tell you that holiday gifts are not expected! Many families, however, wish to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of their child’s teacher with a holiday gift. For your shopping convenience, I’ve asked my teacher friends and colleagues what they REALLY want for Christmas this

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Loose Parts

Seed Mandala Art Project

A Seed Mandala Art Project Mandalas have a long history of therapeutic use and are often appreciated for having spiritual meaning. There is an enormous amount of psychology and writings on the significance of mandalas and Carl Jung referred to mandalas as “representations of the unconscious self”. Creatingmandalas.com tells us Jung

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Recommended Crops

Flanders Field Poppies Project: A Meaningful Way to Remember

Flanders Field Poppies Remembrance Day can be an abstract and complicated topic for small children. Where we live, and across most of the commonwealth, Remembrance Day is a solemn and serious occasion that is symbolized by the wearing of Flanders Field poppies. John McCrae, a Canadian field surgeon, wrote his

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Outdoor Classroom Set Up

BC School Garden Grants

School garden grants make all the difference in the start up, maintenance and enjoyment of a school garden. Grants and funds from sponsors are often necessary to run outdoor classroom and garden programs. And with school budgets so tight, it is all but impossible to get extra money for the

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