Outdoor learning is well recognised for its benefits of increasing motivation and confidence as well as the opportunities that it provides for physical development and learning about the world. Taking EYFS maths outdoors is a great way to turn it into a fun game with plenty of fun resources to use and space to move around. Whilst forest school is becoming an increasingly popular choice amongst early years practitioners for outdoor learning, any outdoor area including playgrounds can become an inspiring outdoor classroom.
The first-hand experiences of learning outside the classroom can help to make subjects more vivid and interesting for pupils and enhance their understanding. Ofsted 2008
Here are some of our favourite ideas EYFS maths in the great outdoors:
Collecting sticks is a fun EYFS maths activity for young children and they can be put to good use for measuring, sorting and ordering. Sticks are also great for learning about and creating shapes on the ground.
Chalk number lines
Drawing a chalk number line on a playground is a simple but effective way of getting children to learn about numbers whilst moving about. It is easy to turn it into a fun game by calling out numbers or simple sums. Children can also use stones to show their answers on the number line.
Measuring volume with water
Water play is a staple for young children. It provides a good opportunity for children to discover so many new things. Working out the volume of an object using water displacement is just one option for discovery. This post by Mommy Moment shows an easy way to incorporate the Archimedes test into water play.
This post by Creative Star Learning shows how leaves can be used to introduce young children to the principles of multiplication/ doubling whilst allowing them to explore and discover the world around them.
Count to 10 with Nature
We loved this idea for learning with nature as part of a DIY Forest School series at Rain or Shine Mama. Although this post focuses on maths within a forest school environment, it could be easily adapted for other outdoor areas.
Mini Beast Hunts
Children love hunting for Mini Beasts and a mini beast hunt also provides a great opportunity for counting, sorting and recording the number of mini beasts that they find. This activity fufils a number of the EYFS goals including talking about similarities and difference.
Sand, rocks and leaves are all great resources for working on number recognition. Use the sand for drawing numbers and rocks/ leaves either for counting out numbers or forming the digits in sand or on a playground/ grassed area. Children can also use marker pens to create their own number rocks for ordering.
For more outdoor learning and play ideas visit our Pinterest Board.
Do you have any more fun ideas for EYFS maths in the great outdoors?