Outdoor learning – 2 Easy Literacy Ideas to take Outside

Outdoor learning is something we’re very passionate about here at Muddy Puddles.

We recognise the amazing benefit children get from spending time outside and outdoor learning. We know being outdoors supports them in developing healthier bodies, better concentration and bigger imaginations.

We support all teachers – regardless of whether they have training in outdoor learning – to plan lessons for children out in the open air. Read on for a free taster of our brilliant lesson plans for outdoor learning.

Outdoor learning Idea 1

KS2 Literacy – Audiences & Authors

Learning objective

To plan their writing by identifying the audience for and purpose of the writing

To note and develop initial ideas, drawing on reading and research

To consider how authors have developed characters and settings


The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

Stick man by Julia Donaldson

Into the Forest by Anthony Browne


Share stories from the selection above

Discuss how the forest setting played a role in the stories


-Ask each child to explore the forest and find three items that interest them

-Put all the items in a big bag

-Pass the bag around and ask each child to pull out an object and then give them a few minutes to think about its role in a story

-Start a snowball story with ‘Once upon a time, a group of children visited a forest/wood…’

-Ask each child in turn to add a few words or sentences to the story inspired by their natural object.

-Start a new story with a different opener, and with new objects when the first one is finished. You can keep going for as long as you want!


Extension task: Ask children to create a character out of natural objects, and describe their personality and how they ended up in the forest.


Ask children why writers’ like using a forest as a story setting. Ask children to choose a word that best describes the setting. Make note of these words for follow up work in the classroom.

Download this free outdoor lesson plan >

Outdoor learning Idea 2

Foundation Stage – Fantastic Phonics

Learning objective

EY Learning goal: Literacy

To use phonic knowledge


Piece of cardboard for each child – with letters marked out in double sided sticky tape. You can either choose the sound of the week or the starting letter in each child’s name


Play Going on a Sound Hunt!

Choose the letter or sound that you are focusing on and ask children to find as many examples as they can.


Give each child a piece of cardboard with a letter marked out in double sided sticky tape.

Ask children to explore the forest and stick on items that they find that interest them.


Extension task: Ask children to only stick on items that start with the letter on their boards.


Read Icky Bug Shapes by Jerry Pallotta.

Ask children to look for bugs and see if they can identify what shapes their bodies are.

Download this free outdoor lesson plan >

Muddy Academy

Find out more about our brilliant outdoor learning resources and get inspired with all the things you can do outdoors from Gruffalo themed lessons to exploring the senses and numeracy from nature.

For more resources and incentives for pupils linked to outdoor learning read all about the Muddy Academy.