Outside preschool lesson plans
Divide the children into teams. Each child stands with their team in a line with one child in front of the next. The first child in line is the leader. Each team will need two different sized buckets and one sponge. (It would help if each team had their own color of buckets and sponge). Set the large buckets at the start line, these are filled with water. The second set of buckets should be smaller and are set at the finish line, empty. Each child will in turn take the sponge from the start bucket and run to the finish bucket and squeeze it into that bucket and run back. The child gives the sponge to the next child in line and returns to the end of their line. the next child dips the bear sponge into the start water bucket and repeats. The first team to fill their bucket with water wins. Children may have many turns in order to fill the buckets up.
Fill a spray bottle 3/4 full with water. Place a small amount of paint (powdered or liquid) into the water. If you use too much or do not shake well the paint will clog up the spray bottle. Do this for at least three different bottles, with three different colors. Then place a large piece of paper on the floor, on an easel, on a wall or fence outside. Then have the children spray the colored water on the paper. Allow to dry.
Painting with water
You just need a paint brush, and water in a bucket, oh yeah, and a nice warm summer day. Let your child "paint" with the water, and watch how the water evaporates in the warm sun. Paint rocks, trees, the sidewalk anything!!!
Teddy Bear Picnic
Have a picnic on the floor or outside with each child's favorite teddy bear. You can either pretend to eat, or have snack or lunch picnic style.
Pretend to go on a Safari
You are the tour guide on this safari. Have all the children join you on the jungle gym or on a play car (whatever equipment you have). Tell them that we are all going on a safari (or to the zoo.) Tell the children what animals you see. "Look, over there, it's a huge elephant." Ask the children what animals they see. Do the same as above, and pretend to go to McDonald's Ask the kids What they want to order! Be Silly!
Provide the children with many different ways to create bubbles.
Mix 2 cups water with a little food coloring, add 6 cups of cornflour/cornstarch to make goop. A great outdoor summer activity.
Make Ice Cream!
I love to do this one, and so do my kids. I have done this with toddlers and school agers...
You will need:
- 2 bags of party ice
- 1 gallon whole milk (or chocolate milk for chocolate ice cream)
- Ice chest
- 1 box of kosher salt
- Paper cups (a least one for each student, and 1 for each teacher in the building who wants to try it)
- 1 lb. Sugar
- 1 gal. Ziploc bags (2 for each pair of students)
- vanilla extract
- Plastic spoons
- 1 quart Ziploc bags (1 for each pair of students)
- paper towels
- Measuring cups, teaspoons and tablespoons
- Combine 2 tablespoons sugar with a few drops of extract and 1 cup (8 oz) of milk in a small Ziploc bag (quart size) and zip it up. This is the small bag!!!
- Add 2 cups of ice and 1/2 cup of rock salt in a gallon Ziploc bag. Place this bag into another Ziploc bag to reduce leakage. This is the large bag!!!!
- Place the sealed small bag into the large bag and seal the large bag.
- Have the children pair off, and have each partner hold one end of the large bag and shake it until the ice cream is firm.
- After the ice cream is firm, supply the children with cups and spoons so they may pour the ice cream into the cups and try it.
Take a plastic bag with you on your next nature walk. Encourage your child to collect leaves and small sticks, and acorns, and put them in the bag. (You can go on a nature walk in you back yard too.) Ask your child about each item they choose to put in the bag. You could also have them create a collage with the objects they collected.
Go for a bug hunt outside. Provide a box or plastic jar to collect them, and magnifying glasses to allow the children a better view. Bug Jar: Collect bugs in a jar, and let the children examine them with a magnifying glass. Return the bugs to their homes so they do not die.
Supply the child with a dark piece of paper. In the morning, on a very sunny day, with little or no wind, have the children find items to place on their paper. Every child should receive one rock, to keep the paper from blowing away. Have the children arrange sticks, grass, acorns and such on the paper. At the end of the day see how the sun made a picture for them.
Have the children run as fast as they can a measured distance out side. Record the time. Have them run the distance every day at least a few times. Then at the end of the week, have them run again and time them. Compare the individuals time with their first time.
When it is raining, watch the rain. Talk about the sounds that you hear during a rain storm. What are the signs that a storm is coming. Talk about storm safety!!!
On a rainy day, set out a container to measure the rainfall. Measure how much rain fell that day. Continue to measure the rain each day, and record for a few weeks. Ask your child to predict how much water will be collected. Ask at the beginning of the day and ask when it is raining. Did their answer change?
Fun for summer hot days. There are two ways you can do this. First is let your child help you wash your car, or you can set up a bucket with wash water, and one for rinsing and let your child wash some of their toy cars.
A dish tub filled with water can provide entertainment as well as a great learning experience. Ideas to add to water play: a drop of food coloring, turkey basters, funnels, cups, dish soap, boats, plastic toys, brushes and sponges, ice, cold or warm water, baby dolls or play dishes to wash, toddler safe balls, items that will sink or float.
Supply the children with a sprinkler to play in on a hot summer day.
What time is it Mr. Bear?
This is a fun game to play outside. You can change the name to suit any theme. The children all line up against a wall or fence. And one child, (Mr. Bear) or the teacher faces away from the children, a good distance away from the children. The children yell, what time is it "Mr. Bear", Mr. Bear answers 1 o'clock, and the children all take one step toward Mr. Bear. The children yell again, what time is it "Mr. Bear", Mr. Bear answers (fill in the blank) o'clock, and the children all take same number of step toward Mr. Bear. This continues until all the children are very close to Mr. Bear then Mr. Bear will answer it's midnight, and Mr. Bear chases the children back to the fence or wall that they started at. The first person Mr. Bear touches will be the new Mr. Bear.
Mother May I?
The child and parent stand at opposite sides of a room. The child asks if he/she may: take so may step forward. i.e. "Mother may I Please take 3 baby steps forward?" the answer would be either, "Yes you may", or "No you may not." The child wins when they reach you. Encourage the use of descriptive words, such as little, big, huge, tiny, and giant. You can also play this with a group of children. The winner would be the one who reaches you first.
Duck, Duck, Goose!!!
The children sit in a circle. One child taps each child on the head and says "duck" when the child taps a child on the head and says "goose", that child becomes the goose and chases the first child around the circle. The first child runs around the circle and sits in the second child's spot. If the second child catches the first one before he/she sits down, the first child had to sit in he middle of the circle (the "pot") for one turn. The second child then repeats the game by tapping children on the head sayings "duck".
This game is designed for children to enhance their listening skills. With younger children I just expect them to follow the directions. "Simon Says: touch your toes" "Simon says: touch your head" "Simon Says: Sit down" etc. With older children I tend to go a little faster. In the traditional game children have to distinguish between statements in which "Simon Says" or if you don't say "Simon Says" and if they do not follow the correct directions they are "out". I wouldn't play this way unless the children are at least school aged. Even then, a simple "Simon didn't say" would suffice.
Add small stuffed animals to your parachute play. The children can try to keep the animals on, or try to get them off quickly. If you do not have a parachute, a large light blanket or sheet will make a good substitute.
Divide the children into even teams. Each child stands with their team in a line with one child in front of the next. The first child in line is the leader. Each team needs a teddy bear. The teddy bear is placed at the children's' feet to start. After the signal to start the children will pass the bear over their head to the person behind them until the bear gets to the end of the line. Then the person at the end of the line runs to the front and passes it back through the line. The children repeat this until the leader is the last person in line, the game ends when the leader returns to the front of the line with the bear.
Divide the children into even teams. Each child stands with their team in a line with one child in front of the next. The first child in line is the leader. Each team needs a teddy bear. The teddy bear is placed at the children's feet to start. this relay race is just like a traditional race, except a teddy bear is passed off. Each child will run the pre set distance and back to their team line with the bear. The bear is passed off to the next person in line, and so forth until all team members have run the distance with the bear. The team who finishes first and is all sitting down, wins. variation: have the children place the bear on their head, or hold the bear between their elbows, or go backwards, or crab walk with the bear on their belly. If the bear falls the child must start over.
Simple Ant Farm
Materials: Glass Jar, Black Paper, An old nylon stocking, Soil and Ants, A rubber band Fill a glass jar with loose soil, and add your ants. Use the rubber band to secure the stocking on the top of the jar, and cut off the excess, leaving a good amount left so you can easily take it off and put it on the jar again. Tape black paper around the outside of the jar so the ants will build tunnels on the sides of the jar. Don't forget to feed and water your new pets. After a couple of hours, take off the paper and see what is happening. Don't forget to put the paper back on the jar.
What do Ants Eat?
Divide a paper plate into sections with a black marker. Place various food items on the plate (i.e. crackers, sugar, lettuce).Set the plate outside on a nice warm day, in a low traffic shaded area where you have seen ants. Check back after 1 hour to see what has happened. Check back in 2 hours. What foods have the ants taken? Which is their favorite? Ask your child what foods they like the best.
Provide the children with a few pairs of binoculars so they can look for birds. Talk about the kinds of birds that live in your area.
Have a designated day of the week where your children can bring in a bike. Safely block off a section of your parking lot or use a paved section of your play area for the children to ride their bikes.
Have the children decorate their bikes and ride them outside for a parade.