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10 ideas to take literacy learning outdoors

  • by: Anna from Pobble
  • On: 7, Oct 2021
37 min read

Summer term is here! We can be hopeful of plenty of sunny days and opportunities to go outdoors. We’ve found some brilliant ideas that will allow you to get out whilst teaching those essential literacy skills.

1. Natural materials for letter recognition and formation

Step away from the paper and pencils and let the kids go hunting for alternative resources to practice with. It will really get them thinking about their letter formation.

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2. Sight word puddle jumping


Who doesn’t love jumping in puddles? Get your class moving whilst learning their sight words and best of all it’s super fun!

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3. Story telling baskets in a story tree


We love this idea! Encourage creativity, imagination and storytelling and it’s easy to adapt for any topic. Lots of lovely inspiration here.

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4. Nature word hunt

Hunting for letters and words in nature is a great way to get your class active and learn at the same time. This nature word hunt is easy to set up, a lot of fun, and effective!

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5. Wash the word

Chalking on the floor is a firm favourite with kids. This wash the word activity is a great idea to get them mark making and then clearing up after themselves!

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6. Gardening for letters

This vegetable patch letter game using alphabet carrots is great fun for little ones, but could easily be adapted for older children. Once they’ve pulled up the carrots, how many different words can they create?

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7. Outdoor writing station

Children love the opportunity to freestyle with their writing. Setting up an outdoor writing station gives them the opportunity to mark-make on a variety of surfaces and encourages those essential skills.

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8. Action phonics

Learning phonemes and tricky words in style with these phonic necklaces gets kids active and out of the confines of the classroom. There are lots of action packed ideas for using them here.

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9. Real and alien word hoops

We often ask children to identify real and alien words in classrooms. This twist on the activity gets them out of the classroom and gives plenty of opportunities to practice. There are some great ideas for extension activities here too.

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10. Alphabet tracing

Using chalk to draw the letters and allowing the children to trace over them is a great way of memorising letter formation. Using materials you find outside such as stones, leaves and sand to trace over them means the children will pay extra attention to the way the letters are formed and have fun doing it!

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