Outdoor reading activities open up a range of tactile and kinaesthetic learning opportunities. We asked educational consultant Dani Mundy for some activity inspiration to help us get active while learning to read.
Time to pack a bag, get your shoes on and show your young learners that books are so much more than just a rainy day activity…
1. A Scavenger Hunt
Hide items related to the book you’ve been reading around a park or garden (or inside the house!). See how many the children need to find before they can guess the story.
Bonus idea: You can play the same game using pictures instead. Print out some pictures from the book, hide them and then see if your young learner can find them all and put them into chronological order.
2. The Stone Hunt
Step 1. Go outside and see how many stones you can collect (they need to be big enough to write on).
Step 2. Once the stones have been collected, use them as a story or word board.
Step 3. Draw pictures and write words from the book on the stones.
Step 4. Use the stones to recreate the story. The stones can be put into different orders to retell the story in different ways.
Top tip! The stones can also be used to focus on key words from the book in question, this is a fun way to recycle and review vocabulary for younger learners.
3. Building a Book Den
(This activity can be used to accompany First Words with Peppa Pig: The Den)
Children love making dens and this is an ideal way to create a reading spot in a garden or other outdoor space. Try a box or some old bedsheets. You can use leaves, sticks, flowers and stones for decoration. Now gather a few of your favorite books and get reading!
4. Water Bottle Game
Find a water bottle and fill it up. Find a space outside, a patio or pavement would work well. Now use the water bottle instead of a pen to draw characters from the book, this can be used as a guessing game. The water bottle can also be used to focus on small key words from the book.
Writing can be tricky for younger learners and this is a useful way to practice motor skills in a fun and engaging manner. The water bottle idea can also be used to practice letter formation.
5. Nature Object Game
Ask the children to collect leaves, stones, pebbles and twigs from a garden or park area. They then need to see if they can make the name of their favourite character using the items they have collected. This is a tactile activity that can really help motivate children to form letters and words.
Top tip! Use this game as a creative art task after reading the book together.
6. First Words Game: Paper Planes
(This activity can be used to accompany First Words with Peppa Pig: Paper Planes)
Step 1. Go outside and make paper planes.
Step 2. Have a competition and see who can throw it the furthest.
Step 3. In a group of young learners, ask them to draw a picture of their favourite character from Peppa Pig on the wings of the paper plane.
Step 4. Now it’s time to throw them and find someone else’s paper plane. Can you guess the name of the character on the plane you pick up?