Outdoor Learning

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.

In the article Nature Can Be as Engaging as Video Games — How to Help Kids Fall in Love With the Outdoors, which also contains a TEDx video and useful linkes, Scott Sampson encourages parents to help kids fall in love with nature just like he did: through direct experience. He recommends three steps that we — along with the children in our lives — can take to connect with nature. You don’t need to go to a national park to help your kids fall in love with nature; a walk around the block can be enough. Tech also doesn’t have to be the enemy. Instead, use it as a tool to enhance their awe.

How to Make the Most of Indoor Play When You Can't Go Outside is an article with advice, activities, and links on how to bring environmental education into the indoors. This article provides tips on how to redefine what “outdoors” can really mean for each of us. For those who only have access to a backyard or are fully homebound, check out this resource for activities to maximize a small space or bring the outdoors in!