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 ideas for your outdoor classroom that support the big ideas of caring and sharing for others while supporting your learners’ environmental ethic of care!
- a heart shape mould
- 3 cups of bird seed
- 3/4 cups of flour
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon of corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons of lard or a package of gelatin
- a chopstick or straw
- twine or pipe cleaners
Mix the flour, water, corn syrup and melted lard together. If you use gelatin, prepare according to the instructions on the envelope and add the flour, water, and corn syrup. Next, add the bird seed. Spoon the mix into heart shaped moulds. Try using a chopstick or straw to punch a hole in the heart for the string before putting them in the freezer for several hours. Remove from the moulds and allow to dry overnight. If you use lard, the hearts take longer to harden, so be patient! Use pipe cleaners or twine to hang from trees for your bird friends to enjoy at school, or send them home as gifts for the family.
Shape the pipe cleaners into hearts and then string on Cheerios. Hang them up in a sheltered location, because once they are wet, they are done!
Hearts In Nature:
Go on a heart scavenger hunt! Look for heart shapes in nature and photograph them to make your own class book! Here are our examples inspired by Eric Telchin’s See a Heart, Share a Heart! If you want to extend the activity into an inquiry, encourage students to reflect on how being in nature makes them feel, or write a love letter to a tree or a special spot in nature.
Make Heart Knots:
Practice these knots indoors using this tutorial, and then go outside and tie them to a favourite tree!
Use found objects in your school garden to create hearts! Red Ted Art has instructions on making raffia & dogwood twig hearts on her blog.
Check out the seriously gorgeous and inspirational examples of heart shaped nature art over at Rain or Shine Mamma’s blog.
These wood slice bracelets form Mother Natured are the perfect gift for anyone looking to pass on the junky cards and candy this Valentine’s Day!
Teachers using tech in the outdoor classroom will enjoy this valentine’s nature hike to find & photograph hearts in nature from Fireflies and Mud pies.
Any day is a good day to advocate for consuming less. Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that ends up producing an abundance of paper and cards. Consider trying any of these eco-friendly ideas this month with your students! And if you enjoy Pinterest and are looking for more fun Valentine’s Day ideas, come join me on Pinterest!