The hammocks are hanging from the trees and a blanket is spread on the ground. A breeze rustles the leaves as birds chirp. What a perfect setting for a school day! It sounds like a scene from a book, but it can be reality.
As often as possible we love taking our lessons outside. Not all days are picture perfect. Some days we have to hold onto our papers so they don’t blow away (clip boards are a necessity many days). Some days the mosquitoes chase us inside. Some days there is just too much housework to do while the girls work on independent lessons to be outside all morning.
When we do make the effort to get outside, the benefits are well worth the effort. We are all happier. The fresh air invigorates us. The sounds of nature calm us. We are not distracted by the clutter inside, although we may end up down a rabbit trail when we investigate the ant hill or the blossoming dogwood tree. Generally, we accomplish more in a shorter period of time when we are outside.
Even if you do not take your lessons outside, there are many benefits to being outside. Do you need some inspiration and motivation to get outside? Here are 20 suggestions to help you get outside more often.
20 Ways to Spend Time Outside
- Complete school lessons outside
- Eat al fresco
- Play in mud or sand (We have dedicated dishes and buckets just for this purpose.)
- Set up hammocks
- Play in tee-pees or pup tents (Pinterest is full of tutorials to make your own.)
- Draw with sidewalk chalk
- Ride scooters or bikes
- Play in water with jars, buckets, PVC tubing, and measuring cups (You could even throw in some food coloring to add some interest.)
- Go on a scavenger hunt
- Encourage imaginative play
- Invite a friend over
- Take a walk
- Have a snack on the patio
- Go on a nature walk with friends
- Take a field trip to the zoo, botanical garden, or nature center
- Plant a garden, flower bed, or fairy garden
- Take lessons to a park and have a picnic while you are there
- Watch birds through binoculars
- Dress appropriately (This can make all the difference in the world for wanting to be outside!)
- And my #1 tip for getting outside more is…
you can watch it with the closed captions on instead.)