outdoors,  summer,  summer activities

Teaching disguised as outdoor play

Outdoor fun has been a huge theme on my blog this summer, probably because I’ve been spending as much time outside as possible.  We may be halfway done with summer, but that just means that we still have half of the summer left to enjoy the sunshine!

Beautiful weather makes me want to stay on the playground all day long, but I can only justify it if I can sneak in some of my lesson plan while we’re outside.  I just found some really fun ideas on Oriental Trading’s website that kids and teachers are both sure to love. These are classics that every child should learn how to play and they can help children explore key concepts:

Dominoes are a great way to work on counting and matching. These Giant Backyard Dominoes are easy for children to hold and manipulate, and the durable wood design is perfect for the playground. 
These Garden Dice are beautiful! Dice are perfect for preschoolers because they offer so many different math opportunities; from counting the dots, to subitizing, and even basic addition. You can easily modify a game to meet the needs of the child that you are playing with. 

It’s not hard to come up with gross motor activities to do on the playground, but I had to share this Limbo Kit.  The children can play this game independently while you supervise the entire group.  

I was so excited to see this Backyard Letter Game! They are supposed to be for a Scrabble-type game but you could use them to spell names, beginning sound scavenger hunts, or letter recognition games. I have to get a set of these!

Relay races are the perfect way to practice social emotional skills; cooperation, teamwork, and self-regulation just to name a few! These Potato Sacks are burlap, and can be left outside with the rest of your playground toys.
If more long days outside are in your future, make sure to check out the rest of the Games and Activities available from Oriental Trading! While you’re at it, catch up on some of my previous outdoor related posts:

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