The distinguishing feature of this learning theme is the combination of learning and physical activity in an outdoor environment. Increased mobility improves all types of future learning and gross motor ability is especially important for learning to read.
Anyone who has ever worked with children will agree that they want to learn. This raises the question of how children learn. Most children intuitively know the answer to this question””they learn through play and games. Teachers must be able to make use of children’s inherent desire to play and learn.
By choosing appropriate games, grown-ups can influence what knowledge children acquire. Children are not fully aware of exactly how they learn which provides room for grown-ups to choose games that develop the right types of skills, knowledge, and values.
This instructor’s guide, using the squirrel as a common theme, presents ideas for games and exercises suitable for outdoor learning. The purpose of all these activities is to combine learning, physical activity, and spending time outdoors. Let working with the squirrel theme take its time, don’t hurry through the exercises. If you do one or two exercises each time you visit the forest, it will take five or six visits to work through all the activities