Kindergarten: Learn Outdoors

You can help a Kindergarten student learn science by going outdoors. Kindergarteners can directly observe plants and animals outside—in their own neighborhood, in a school garden, along a side walk, in a nearby park, or in a larger open space.

Part of what Kindergarten students learn in local public schools in Cambridge, Mass., is here:

Student naturalists explore plants and animals in the classroom and outside. They continue (from Junior Kindergarten) asking questions and gather information about where animals live and why. They also learn:

how plants and animals’ parts and behaviors help them and

how all living and nonliving things on Earth depend on one another. 

Kindergartners learn how scientists gather and record information about living things and also

how we can help the Earth.

An adult can continue or begin to keep a nature journal with a child. Let your child know that drawings of what they see outdoors don’t need to be beautiful. Praise them instead for noticing details in what they see.

Try this :

Take a walk outdoors in spring and find at least one thing that has each of these colors: green, yellow, brown, black, white, red, and gray.

TIP: When you ask children to make outdoor observations of living things, focus on these questions: What do you NOTICE about the object? What do you WONDER about the object? What does this object REMIND you of?

EXTRA: Here are two short videos you can watch, about Screech Owls, and about Fungi. Screech Owl do live in our city. You can even turn the sound off. Ask your child to describe what the mushrooms look like and name as many of the Screech Owl’s features and behaviors as possible. Using words to describe what they see is a great skill to develop!

SCIENTIST: Lauren D. Pharr studies birds. Here she explains the relationship between trees and birds: https://www.honoringthefuture.org/what-can-trees-do-for-birds-and-birds-do-for-trees/

Try this:

Help your child make a screech owl mask after viewing the video above of screech owls. You can use paper, fabric, and glue. This is an opportunity to talk about animals blending in with their surroundings.

Cambridge Outdoors is working to expand our existing library of resources for outdoor learning with this post and future posts. Come on over to our Facebook Page, and tell us what you like about it, and what kind of other posts you’d like to see here. And tell us about your outdoor explorations, too!

This post was written by Julie Croston. If you use Instagram and Twitter, check out and use our hashtag #CambMAOutdoorLearning.

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