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Outdoor Literacy Activities

May 6, 2014

Outdoor Games

Hopscotch Resized copy



All you need is some chalk and a path/patio.  Draw out the ‘beds’ to hop on, number them and off you go.  Depending on the ages of the children playing you can make the game harder by getting players to throw something onto a particular number, jump over a bed and/or do an action.  A great game for adults and children alike!



SH Resized copy

Scavenger Hunt

Get the children to hunt outdoors for various items.  For older children you can ask them to find things around the garden that begin with certain letters, perhaps a,b,c,d,e or maybe items beginning with the letters in their own name (e.g.   a l i c e).  For the younger children you could use pictures and a letter (e.g. a picture of a flower with the letter ‘f’ beside it) so everyone can join in the fun!

Another variation of this game is hide alphabet letters around the garden and give the children a page with a word written on it.  They have to hunt until they find all of the letters in the word on their own page

Important rule:  if they find a letter that is not in their word they have to leave it where they found it!


Outdoor Listening Games

Children’s literacy skills are dependent on them being able to hear the sounds in words.  To promote good listening skills in the children you should play lots of Listening Games.  Some games need props and other don’t need anything! 



No props Listening Game

Get all of the children to lie down in the garden and close their eyes.  Give a set period of time, beginning with short periods e.g. 1 minute.  Ask the children to count to themselves the number of different sounds they hear.  After the minute is up ask them to tell what they heard and see if everyone heard the same sounds. 

If everyone didn’t hear the same sounds, lie down, close eyes and listen again to see if everyone can hear them. 

If everyone named the same sounds, try get the children to discriminate further by asking them to listen particularly for birds, insects, cars – whatever you think the children will hear most of in the area they live in.


Listening game with propsTins Resized copy

Gather a selection of canisters, like little herb tins, and fill each one with different loose parts from outdoors.  See if the children can guess what is in each one by the sound it makes when it is shaken.  Whoever guesses all correctly first is given the opportunity to empty out all the canisters and go around the garden themselves, adding different loose parts to the canisters and testing out the children.  This will encourage all of the children to focus and be the first to guess them all correctly so they can be the one to ‘control’ the game!


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