Outdoor Learning Activities for Preschoolers

outdoor learning activities shows three kids reading a book while laying in the grass



Are you looking for outdoor learning activities for preschoolers? You have came to the right place! Hey, Nicole here from Crafty Curriculum! We believe in learning through the environment, play, and through fun learning experiences. Here are our ideas for outdoor learning activities for preschoolers and toddlers! Make sure to check out over 100 activities to do outdoors with your kids here!

Why Learn Through Outdoor Activities

There are many benefits of children learning through play, which to us outside time is always play time. First of all, they will have several life skill opportunities. For example, they will learn about cause and effect and problem solving. When outdoors kids will understand how stepping on a stick will break, figure out how to climb a tree, and how nature functions. Next, learning through play outdoors they will enhance their fine motor skills and gross motor skills too. Which are important skills to have overall success in life. Also, kids will discover their independence and develop a positive self esteem. Kids can achieve all of this plus and there are several more benefactors when learning outside.

Our List of Fun Outdoor Learning Activities

outdoor learning activities for kids shows kids reading a book

Life Cycle

Have your kids witness first hand about the life cycle of animals. Find a nest and talk about the birds laying eggs. Later, see if the adult birds are busy gathering food for hungry screaming baby birds. Then, keep a close eye on the nest as the birds grow and begin to fly.

Reading a book outside

Grab some books and a tree or hammock to sit under and you have yourself a perfect reading corner.

Means of transportation

Teach your kids about road signs and ways of transportation! First of all, take a bike ride and identify the different road signs, which are important to know too. Next, discuss the different types of vehicles you see, and how we do not see boats or airplanes on the street because they are not meant for the road. Furthermore, you can teach kids how to look both ways before crossing the street. Also, you can teach your kids how cars drive on wheels (circles) but why do they not drive on squares. You can also teach colors and shapes by street signs, cars, and more. Finally, if you are looking for printables to go along with your outdoor transportation learning activities click here! 

outdoor activities for kids shows three kids hiking in the fallBirds

Study the birds around you! Figure out what birds are in your backyard and learn about their nests, food they eat, and where they go for the winter. Then, see how many birds you can find of species and count them.


Kids love bugs so why not learn about them. Study ants, watch what they do, follow them around, find the ant farm. Also, you can teach about different types of bugs and insect features, such as insects have six legs and spiders do not so spiders are not an insect. There are many different learning experiences when it comes to studying bugs.


When hiking around (which is a great outdoor gross motor activity click here for more ideas) learn about the different animals you find. For example, squirrels are mammals in the Sciuridae family, they gather food and eat nuts, seeds, fruit veggies, bird’s eggs, insects, and even small birds. When teaching the diet of an animal you are teaching life cycles too. Furthermore, kids can also learn about animal tracks and make their own tracks in mud too. 


Study the different types of trees around your neighborhood and the tree rings too!


Now I know I mentioned shapes above with our transportation section but there are many ways to learn about shapes outside. First of all, draw shapes with chalk and identify them. Next, find shapes in the environment like street signs, houses, etc. Also, you can play hopscotch but with shapes. Another idea to learn about shapes outside is to make them out of sticks! This is a super fun activity since they need to gather sticks too.


I am not sure about you but over at our house rock collecting is a big deal. So why not use it to practice some math skills! First of all, kids can order rocks by size smallest to largest, or based on how heavy it feels. Also, kids can group rocks based on size, shape, and color. These are all important math skills. Also, use any outdoor item like sticks, leaves, etc.


There are many ways to practice numbers outside too. First of all, gather sticks, rocks etc and count them! After sorting by size kids can also count how many are in each group and compare which group has the most and which group has the least. Also, count trees, a certain color car when watching cars. Basically, you can turn anything into a counting activity. Now if your child is ready to recognize the written number easily write that in chalk and have your child go on a scavenger hunt for that many items. Furthermore,  play hopscotch with numbers! Finally, if you are in need of some printable and hands-on activities make sure to check out our fun counting activities here!

outdoor learning activities for kids shows the capital letter a in chalkLetters

There are several things you can do to study letters outside. First of all, draw letters and objects that begin with that letter in chalk, then have your child trace the letters to practice letter formation. Next, have kids find something outside that begins with that letter. For example, if you are working on the letter B they could find bubbles or maybe even a balloon stuck in a tree. Also, while walking around kids can practice letters by identifying them on street signs and road signs. Check out out printable alphabet activities here for more hands-on learning experiences. Finally, you can use anything above to teach letters too what each bird starts with, each tree name, transportation signs, etc. 

We hope you enjoy these outdoor learning activities for preschoolers. As you can see there are many learning opportunities for each category by spending time outside. It is important to note that using your kids interest to study the world will have longer lasting effects than teaching them through ways they are not passion about. So when considering these outdoor activities make sure to think about what your child loves and teach around that topic. 

If you love the great outdoors then make sure to check our list of over 100 outdoor activities for preschoolers here!

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hey friends!

My name is Nicole and I am so glad you are here! I have always loved photography and have taken classes. Then I started my teacher journey and fell in love with creating resources for what I needed in the classroom. Now I have combined both of my passions to bring you spectacular resources!