Although homeschooling enables personalized learning wherein parents adapt to their children’s abilities, it does leave much to be desired in terms of outdoor experiences. Homeschool children need to spend time outside. Outdoor environments promote healthy emotional, physical, and social development. In a study on the importance of outdoor activities, Janet Loebach suggests that being outdoors creates diverse opportunities for unstructured play as well, which stimulates a kid’s creativity and problem-solving skills.
Outdoor environments encourage exploration and independence in children. From equipment for park strolls to museum dates, here are essentials you should pack for your homeschooler’s day outside:
1. Spare clothes
Indoors, you don’t have to worry as much about soiled clothes, especially not when your child’s closet is only a few steps away. However, unforeseen weather conditions or accidents can result in messy clothing when you’re taking your homeschooler outside. Before heading out, pack a change of clothes with you. We also recommend checking the weather forecast for rain later in the day. This way, you can come prepared and bring a raincoat or a warmer jacket to prevent your kid from getting sick. After all, catching a cold can put a damper on your fun learning trip outside.
With young homeschoolers, carrying a stroller is best if you plan on taking them to sprawling places such as parks or planetariums. As the iCandy strollers prove, they allow you to stay mobile for a day of play and learning. If you’re worried about transporting the stroller, don’t be. Today, strollers come with car seat adaptors and seamlessly convert to a complete travel system, allowing you to use them with your car seat rig. If you have a packed itinerary that entails flitting from one museum to another, rest assured a stroller’s your best bet in ensuring a smooth trip.
3. Picnic Necessities
Taking your kids out for a picnic is a novel experience, especially when their lunch breaks are regularly taken inside the house. Eating outdoors can provide a much-needed break and change of scenery to your homeschool day. We recommend making an event out of the picnic, even if you only head out to your backyard or nearby park. Pack paper plates and plastic utensils, paper towels, and a picnic blanket alongside an insulated picnic bag and your kid’s favorite snacks. You can get all these from REI, a brand that offers an assortment of picnic tools, such as lightweight blankets that are resistant to the elements. All that’s left is to relax with your curious student as you help them identify different cloud formations in the sky.
4. Art Supplies
In our previous post ‘Summer Activities Your Kids Will Love’, we shared how kids enjoy using paint brushes to create different shapes on the sidewalk (yes, even with just water). Although art activities are easy to implement into your homeschool day, being outdoors exposes your children to new sights. To nurture their creativity, equip them with a small sketchbook and a set of colored pencils the next time you visit a park. It’ll be interesting to see them sketch several bird species or various colored flowers on paper. While these are objects you can show through books or on a screen, nothing beats seeing and capturing them in the flesh.
5. Game Equipment
A day out can be an opportunity for active play. When you take your kids outside, bring game equipment, such as jump ropes, hula hoops, or balls, with you. Ball play, for example, would entail bouncing, catching, dribbling, and throwing items. In an article on motor performance, Bouwien Smits-Engelsman explains how ball skills help build balance, problem-solving skills, and spatial awareness skills in children. To maximize your homeschooler’s day out, have exciting and educational game equipment on hand. This way, they can stretch their limbs as they learn a thing or two about hand-eye coordination.