Tips for Teaching Outdoors

  • Art with sticks, leaves, and rocks

    Boost Student Creativity With Art Projects in Nature

    Creating art in nature is about connecting with your environment, being inspired by nature, and leaving it right where it was found. Explore activities that use tools and materials found in nature to show children that anything can be art if you’re creative enough!

  • Majestic Mondays with PLT | Teacher Feature: Nancy Blake

    Nancy Blake, a teacher in Alaska, makes every Monday majestic for her students. She weaves PLT lessons about nature into physical education classes.

  • Birds for All

    Watch our free educator webinar to discover hands-on resources that use birds to create fun, inclusive, and authentic learning experiences!

  • Early Childhood Education for Earth Day (and Beyond!)

    PLT recently collaborated with our friends at Natural Start Alliance to host a free educator webinar full of ideas for creating fun, authentic outdoor learning experiences for ages 1-6. Check out the tips and ideas shared, as well as a free activity download from PLT’s Trees & Me: Activities for Exploring Nature with Young Children.

  • Hands-on Activities & Advice for New Environmental Educators

    Explore PLT resources to help you teach students about the environment, whether you’re new to teaching or looking for new environmental education resources to explore! PLT provides easy-to-teach, hands-on activities suitable for various settings, and a range of resources to support and mentor new educators.

  • young girl pulling child on sled through the snow

    How to Make the Most of Winter Outdoor Activities

    The winter environment offers abundant outdoor learning opportunities for preschoolers and high schoolers alike. How do you make the most of outdoor activities for kids during the colder months? Molly Gillespie, Alaska’s PLT Coordinator, recently shared with us some tips for teaching outdoors in the winter.

  • two young boys counting leaves in a forest

    7 Benefits of Using Nature and the Outdoors to Teach Math

    Nature is a fascinating environment to create fun, authentic learning experiences, especially when it comes to math concepts! Explore seven benefits of using nature and the outdoors to teach math.

  • Paper Craft Ideas for Hispanic Heritage Month

    Whether you are a parent, classroom teacher, paper products professional, or museum activity leader – we’ve assembled a list of fun paper and cardboard activities that celebrate the culture of Hispanic and Latino communities and present an opportunity for a conversation about the importance of making better decisions for people and the planet

  • Red cardinal sitting on a fence

    How to Introduce Students to Urban Birdwatching

    Introduce kids to urban birdwatching and help them enjoy their immediate environments! Check out how to get started with urban birdwatching at your school, daycare, summer camp, or home, along with bird-themed activities that you can adapt for your classroom. 

  • yellow bird perches atop pink flowers

    Expand Your Classroom With Nature-Based Sensory Activities

    Explore the world outside or bring the outdoors in with nature-based sensory activities that meet the needs of all students, including those with special or diverse needs.

  • A group of diverse young students wearing orange safety jackets sit on homemade log benches in an outdoor classroom surrounded by leaves

    School Forests Connect Children to Nature

    Enriching outdoor classrooms, ready-to-use lessons, and outdoor skill-based trainings in the woods. Learn how the Minnesota DNR’s School Forest Program helps teachers develop and enhance their outdoor instruction.

  • social distancing observe wildlife rules but with people

    PLT’s Top 8 Socially-Distanced Activities

    We’ve assembled a list of our top eight Project Learning Tree activities perfect for social distancing kids in Kindergarten through Grade 8.

  • Illustration of a Family with Kids trying out a project learning tree outdoor activity

    Activities to Do With Children Outdoors

    Spending time outside is one way we can boost our resiliency while quarantining at home to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Bookmark a few of these free PLT family activities to try in your backyard, at a local park or trail, or another nearby safe space outdoors.

  • Pinecones - outdoor winter activities for preschoolers

    10 Outdoor Winter Activities for Preschoolers

    The winter environment offers an abundance of learning opportunities for preschoolers, even in cold climates. Here are 10 winter activities that you and your preschoolers can enjoy outdoors.

  • Student Involvement at Lee Academy: Finding Opportunities Out the Window

    PLT supports place-based education. Read how one high school PLT teacher in Maine uses community-based investigations to give students opportunities to make real world decisions, meet community needs, and explore what is happening in their own neighborhoods as the foundation for learning cross-cutting concepts.

  • students-adults-working-to-create-outdoor-classroom

    Tips for Creating an Outdoor Classroom

    As the pandemic has disrupted countless traditional learning environments, many have begun to move classes outdoors. But as Project Learning Tree educators know all-too-well, taking lessons outdoors offers many more benefits than just germ control!

  • Ideas for Young Learners to Explore Sounds Around Their Neighborhood

    Sounds abound in every school yard! This activity encourages PreK-2 learners to explore sounds all around their neighborhood and compare how sounds change from one season to the next.

  • Agent of Change: Accolades for Our PLT State Coordinator

    My life changed when I met Pat Maloney, the PLT State Coordinator in Maine. Learn about PLT’s national network that provides support to educators for incorporating environmental education and outdoor learning into their classrooms.

  • jamie-k-using-binoculars-forestry

    Exploring Forestry as a Career

    A forester explains what the life of a forester actually entails and how she inspires students to explore jobs that will take them outside.

  • observing-outside-in-winter

    Why Teach Outside in Winter?

    Teaching outside year-round is a rewarding experience for students of all ages. Teachers in Maine share how to make winter outdoor learning safe and fun.

  • high-school-students-measure-circumference-of-tree-in-winter

    Top Ten Tips for Teaching Outside – Middle and High School

    There are lots of reasons to learn outside. If you are thinking about trying out teaching in the outdoors, check out these tips.

  • student-sitting-against-tree-in-snow-writing-poetry

    Top Ten Tips for Teaching Outside – Elementary

    There are lots of reasons to learn outside. If you are thinking about trying out teaching in the outdoors, check out these tips.

  • early-childhood-students-showing-crafts-outside

    Top Ten Tips for Teaching Outside – Early Childhood

    There are lots of reasons to learn outside. If you are thinking about trying out teaching in the outdoors, check out these tips.

  • teacher-holds-log-for-young-boy-to-touch-and-examine

    Why Teach Outside?

    Nature helps children’s development–intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and physically. Studies show that teaching outdoors produces student gains in social studies, science, language arts and math.

  • Overcoming Fears About Teaching Outside: One Teacher’s Story

    A 5th grade teacher in rural Minnesota uses a local forest as a teaching resource. He also engages parents and the entire school in environmental learning.