Picnic Day is June 18th and what better way to celebrate and teach all at the same time! Encourage your students to bring lunch on the 18th and head outdoors for lunch and lessons. The ideas below are perfect for elementary age students, but can be altered to accommodate even preschool-age children.
Picnic Day Activities
Ants are fascinating insects and the perfect picnic symbol. For this activity, you will be teaching students about weight and ratios. Ants can carry 20 times their own weight. Encourage students to weigh different objects and people to figure out what things they could carry if the same rule applied. For example, if the classroom pet guinea pig weighs one pound, what in the classroom or outside could he carry? This activity can be done indoors or outside. If completing the lesson outside be sure to bring the scales along with you.
Picnics are a great chance to bring out the graphing paper and record information about the class’ likes, dislikes and lunch contents. Take a poll of who likes certain picnic foods, who brought different types of sandwiches for lunch, who brought milk vs. juice, etc. Students can work together in pairs or by themselves to graph the data that has been collected. Pie graphs or bar graphs work especially well.
Brown Bag Guesswork
Place an object in a brown paper bag and have the children play 20 Questions. They will be working on their deductive reasoning skills while having a great time. This activity can also evolve into a Hangman-style game with a portable dry-erase board in lieu of the classroom chalkboard.
Move over, Simon, it is time for Teacher Says. Played liked the game Simon Says, Teacher Says is a great way to get children focused and following directions. It also allows you to set the tone and pace of the activity which makes it a good wrap up game.
After your picnic lunch, take the class on a nature walk around the playground. Ask them to use their powers of observation to take in the sights, sounds, smells, and feel of the air and nature around them. When you return to class, have students write descriptive poems about their experiences while on the nature walk.
From math to science to language arts, picnics provide the perfect backdrop for creative learning. Think outside the cafeteria on June 18th, and enjoy a special picnic lunch with your students. It will be a learning experience they will never forget.