With social distancing orders in place, we want to encourage students and their families to get outside and learn along the way. Whether in just in the backyard or around the neighborhood, fresh air is beneficial for your students (and their parents)! It also provides a chance to explore plant and life sciences, engineer with different materials, get exercise, and have fun!

If you suspect your students are sitting at home glued to the TV, try suggesting these fun, educational, and active games instead.

Sign Addition

While on a walk, drive, bike ride, etc. encourage your child to add up the number signs you see along the way. Depending on your child’s age you can also try this with subtraction, multiplication or assign specific operations to specific signs. If you’re feeling ambitious, have your student add up the numbers they see on speed limit signs.

Code Walk

Older Child: Encourage your child to take a solo walk or a walk with their younger siblings, have them bring along a notebook and code their directions using arrows and directions. When they return home, have them accompany you on a second walk, but this time you attempt to follow their code. This can be a great teaching lesson as you are able to let them know where they went wrong or right.

Pro Tip: If your child is too young to explore on their own, shrink the activity down to your backyard or even inside your home. Or, accompany your youngster and make a code walk together.

Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are fun for everyone! Get outside and look for items that range from common to rare. This is a great social-distancing activity while getting outside. Make your own scavenger hunt, or choose from one of the many on STEM Universe:

Finding the North Star

STEM Outdoor BINGO Board

Social Distancing Walk BINGO

Backyard Nature Walk Checklist

Plant a Garden

Now is a great time to get seeds planted! This activity allows you to get a little messy, grow your own food, and learn. This is a great time to bring up STEM concepts related to plant science, sustainability, and environmental responsibility. It will also be encouraging and exciting for your young learner to watch the success of their plants over time.

STEAM Natural Artistry

While outdoors or on a walk, collect greenery, leaves, wild flowers, etc. and encourage your child to create a one-of-a-kind piece of art. Whether it is 3D or on a piece of paper is up to them! Here are some ideas:

  • Self-portrait/ family portrait
  • Dream home
  • Pet
  • Favorite movie character
  • Favorite vacation

We hope these encourage your students to get outside and learn from nature. As these are unprecedented times, make the moments like these extra special!