Outdoor Learning

Finding Ecohappiness: Fun Nature Activities to Help Your Kids Feel Happier and Calmer by Sandi Schwarts prescribes nature-based fun to improve mental health and mood in children (and parents)! This book will introduce you to all kinds of engaging nature activities you can do with your kids, from hiking and bike rides to visiting nature centers and science museums to volunteering outdoors to embarking on ecotourism adventures. In addition, you will discover unique nature relaxation activities like cow cuddling, animal yoga, forest bathing, float therapy and earthing.

Outward Bound Canada offers expeditions for youth & adults, as well as school & group programs

The Calgary Urban Forestry Map is an interactive tool that allows users to zoom in and find out what tree species are in our city. Students can also use the search tool to search by address or place. 

AdventureSmart is a great resource to help teach students about outdoor trip preparation. The website includes guides, checklists, and a fun online game! You can also request an outdoor educator to speak to your group virtually in either French or English!

The Ecohappiness Project focuses on the intersection of nature and mental health, tying together all the science and practical tools to help families live a happy, balanced life through nature. The website includes articles on outdoor activities and getting kids outside, and recommendations for books and resources.

There are two Ecohappiness Project books:

Stories in the Schoolyard (K-4) invites students to step outside and find delight in the ordinary, wonderful ways nature's stories unfold right in their own schoolyard. This active place-responsive program will support students to foster a sense of belonging in nature at the same time as sparking their curiosity to learn more. In this program, we'll become better acquainted with that tree in the corner of the field that's almost been forgotten. We'll also follow along with the adventures of Gary the Goose as he finds courage in face of fear. Program includes: a puppet story, imaginative sensory play, Indigenous connections, group poetry writing, and lots of active movement.

We Can Too! (Gr. 2-4) invites students to notice how nature expresses itself in cycles. We will look for examples of natural cycles in the schoolyard and follow the adventures of Cate the Caterpillar as she transforms from caterpillar to butterfly. This program encourages students to develop a growth mindset and to discover their own unique gifts. Program includes: a puppet story, musical poetry, Indigenous connections, active movement, and a printable growth mindset resource. 

These notes contain highlights and link to the podcast episode. See more resources from Child & Nature Alliance here

These flashcards provide easy to follow one-pager activities for different seasons. 

BioKits are interactive activity books that can be printed and taken with your class on any outing in the community or natural parks! Activities connect to the various sights and sounds of the community, including signs of wildlife, and encourage students to explore the services in their community and think about topics such as transportation/green transportation, recycling/waste services, and more!

 

BioKits are also available in French

Canada's Outdoor Learning Store sells a variety of book bundles, guides, and kits to aid educators in taking learning outdoors. Search the shop by seasons, themes, type, language, and age level. It is run as a social enterprise which allows them to provide a return for outdoor learning non-profit organizations from across the country, and beyond.