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Go Play Outside!

Older Kids and Preteens Outside

Older kids and preteens like to be in groups. Any kind of group problem-solving or scientific testing will get the best results when kids this age work in teams.

At this age, kids usually like physical activity and need a lot of it. Recreational activities such as cross-country skiing, biking, and snow-shoeing can help lead them into the outdoors.

One popular activity is called Predator/Prey. Students role-play different organisms in a giant food chain tag game. They love the running and tag but also learn a lot about food chains.

Older kids and preteens can learn to:

  • Identify why living organisms make environmental adaptations.
  • Describe cyclic changes.
  • Distinguish between renewable and non-renewable resources.
  • Identify organisms using a key.
  • Use tools like thermometers and compasses.
  • Identify different ecosystems.

Teenagers Outside

Teenagers like a measure of independence. They can spend a lot more time outdoors than younger kids and participate and lead outdoor adventures like backpacking, canoeing, and rock climbing.

A great project for teenagers is to look at a local environmental problem and try to come up with a solution. In this activity, not only do teens learn about their own ability to solve a problem, but they also must understand the source and cause of the problem.

Teens can learn and grow from exploring the natural world. They can:

  • Identify and explain the differences among various types of soils.
  • Identify and explain the importance of the major aquatic biomes.
  • Describe the key features of the major kinds of terrestrial biomes.
  • Identify local environmental problems, determine their causes, and describe an appropriate solution.
  • Participate in and lead, depending on experience and interest, any number of outdoor adventures.


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