« Resources Home

Playing and learning outdoors: Making stick pets and learning about knots

Janet Green
11 Apr 2020
5 min read
Playing and learning outdoors: Making stick pets and learning about knots

Spring is here and while schools are closed and people are indoors, there are many creative ways to be engaged and have fun whilst learning outdoors.

In part 2 of our Outdoor Learning Series Janet Green, Forest School Practitioner, has been helping us find out more about outdoor learning. In this post we ask Janet:

What resources and equipment will we need to start our outdoor learning?

“A barrier to outdoor learning that is often raised is the lack of resources, be it money to buy resources or ideas of what to do once outside. However, equipment does not necessarily need to be bought. We can engage with the outdoors as it stands by using natural resources which keeps costs very low.

Of course some outdoor activities will need resources but I try to use household items that most of us have lying around. As for ideas of what to do once outside, learning outdoors can start with something simple. You just need to give it a go and see if it catches the imagination of your children!

Keeping it simple in outdoor activities - Stick Pets!

Stick pets are a really fun and simple way to get your children outdoors, having fun and learning at the same time. They are decorated sticks that anyone in the family can make to take on walks and personify in fun ways. Take Bob for example, who lives in the Rhubarb patch at the bottom of my garden:

What you will need:

  • A stick, preferably one that is no bigger than your forearm
  • A piece of string (about 1 meter in length)
  • Some creative decorations - think coloured pipe cleaner, googly eyes, coloured pens and felt tips

Once you have found your preferred stick, get your child to tie the string around it. I find the best knot for this, and the opportunity for a lot of people to learn a new one, is the timber hitch as it is strong enough to pull your stick, but easy enough to untie.

Now you and your child can get creative with any design you would like. Give your stick pet eyes and a mouth with the coloured pens and wrap pipe cleaners around the ‘body’. However you decide to do it, make it your own!

Once you have finished the design of your new companion make sure to take it for walks and find a home for it in your garden.

Please ensure all outdoor activities are conducted in accordance with current government guidelines on social distancing.

Zen Educate is transforming how schools find great teachers.

Sign up as a school
Sign up as a teacher

Share post