Teaching and learning

6 of the best spring outdoor learning activities

From rain showers to spring flowers, there's something for everyone outdoors
March 24, 2017
Reading time:
a light bulb with the letter p inside it

a black and white image of two hearts

famly icon - piggy bank

a black and white image of two houses



a black and white image of a bunny and a bottle


a black and white heart icon

With Famly since

Cherry blossoms are blooming, there are birds singing, and the calendar is telling us spring has arrived at last. And, in the last few weeks, the weather seems to have finally brightened up so it's a wonderful time to engage in some outdoor play.

When you've waded through mud pies, checked out the local park, grown a fairy garden, completed a photo scavenger hunt, and gathered natural materials for loose parts, it can seem like you've well and truly 'sprung' spring. But never fear, we've gathered even more great ideas for activities for you.

Whether you're looking for inspiration for physical activities or exploring the natural world, step right into the season with these creative ideas for outdoor activities.

1. Breathe in the fresh air and blow big bubbles

This springtime activity is called Homemade Giant Bubbles by Happy Hooligans. Develop those gross motor skills as you blow bubbles on the spring breeze! Spring activities don't all necessarily have to be nature crafts surrounded by new spring flowers - just getting the children into the garden as the weather warms is a great start!

What you need:

  • Water
  • Washing up liquid
  • Corn flour
  • Baking powder
  • Glycerine
  • String
  • Straws

2. Fine motor skills fun with tracing shadows

This early years spring activity is called Human Sundial Shadow Science Experiment by Rhythms of Play. Children can work in pairs or small groups, spending time tracing each other’s shadows with chalk. Encourage the children to talk about how the chalk outlines change with the size of the shadows throughout the day.

What you need:

  • An open space
  • Chalk
  • A camera
  • A tape measure
  • A notebook

3. Get out in the garden and grow some spring flowers

This spring activity is called How To Plant Seeds With Kids by Nurture Store. I'm not saying you'll be sowing seeds this week and pedalling your wares at next week's farmers market, but these tricks and tips will help you make sure the children get the most out of growing plants. And the best part? You don't need a huge outdoor area - it all starts with a tiny seed.

What you need:

  • Seeds
  • Pots, preferably from recycled materials like yoghurt pots or egg boxes.
  • Water and watering cans (or you can just reuse milk jugs)
  • Compost

4. Keep those seeds safe with homemade scarecrows

This springtime activity is called Craft Stick Scarecrows by Crafts by Amanda. Now that the children have their own garden, it's a great idea to protect their precious plants with a mini scarecrow. These little guys are so much fun to make and are great for some fine motor skills practice too.

What you need:

  • Corks
  • A stanley knife or toothpicks
  • White craft glue
  • Fabric
  • Craft sticks
  • Googly eyes
  • Felt-tip pens
  • String

5. Create your own hopscotch obstacle course

This springtime early years activity is called Obstacle Course by Matty Angel. Traditional hopscotch is great for some low-impact physical activity, but have you ever thought about tweaking it a bit? Turn it into a full-on obstacle course by swapping in a whole range of interesting things, like skip, hop, jump, or twirl.

What you need:

  • Chalk
  • A suitable path

6. Build a real-life Angry Birds game

This spring activity is called How to Make a Life Size Angry Birds Game by She Knows. If you haven't played Angry Birds, in short, it's a smartphone game where you aim the bird characters at buildings, in the hope of knocking them down. Of course, you don't have to theme this activity like the game - it works just as well with unpainted boxes and balls. This activity combines hand-eye coordination and physical development, and supports turn-taking too!

What you need:

  • Boxes, like cereal boxes
  • Paint and paintbrushes
  • Different coloured balls

The big ideas

download pdf
graphical user interface, text, application
Official Danish Government Reopening Advice

Guidance from the Danish Health Ministry, translated in full to English.

Picture of a Guidance document
UK Nursery Covid-19 Response Group Recommendations

The full recommendations from a working group of over 70 nursery chains in the UK.

Please note: here at Famly we love sharing creative activities for you to try with the children at your setting, but you know them best. Take the time to consider adaptions you might need to make so these activities are accessible and developmentally appropriate for the children you work with. Just as you ordinarily would, conduct risk assessments for your children and your setting before undertaking new activities, and ensure you and your staff are following your own health and safety guidelines.

Learn more about Famly

Find out below how Famly helped Tenderlinks in recording child development, and see what we can do for you in a personal demo.