3 Outdoor Maths & Science Activity Ideas for UKS2

October 8, 2021

If you’ve been following our social media, then you will know that we have been talking lots about getting more upper key stage two children outside recently. Our oldest primary age children typically spend the most time learning behind a desk and we want to change that! If you would like to get your Year 5 & Year 6 children securing science and maths objectives outdoors, but you’re not 100% sure how, then keep on reading!

Today we are giving you an exclusive look inside The Outdoor Planning Hub, we have never shared our content so openly before! Read on to receive activities taken directly from our curriculum-based outdoor lesson plans, free!!

Year 5 – Maths – Addition and Subtraction

Skittles Subtraction

Create the skittles using bottles with 4 and 5 digit numbers stuck on. Spread the skittles around the outdoor space. In pairs, children roll a small ball to knock down 2 bottles. They then subtract the numbers using a place value grid and natural resources and also record it as columnar subtraction (either using chalk on the playground or using paper on clipboards if you wish to keep for evidence). This activity could be timed: How many can each pair knock down and subtract from each other in 20 minutes?

Year 6 – Maths – Place Value

Ordered Ladders

To play, start by putting children into small groups. Each player needs to draw a blank ladder, with 5 rungs, on the floor in chalk. Players take it in turns, in their group, to roll a dice 5 times and use the digits in the order they are rolled to make a five-digit number, e.g. a roll of 4, 3, 1, 2 and 7 would make 43,127. They write their number in one of the spaces on their ladder. Once a number is placed it cannot be moved. The aim is to place as many numbers as possible in order. If a player cannot place their number they miss a go. This will require them to try and work tactically to place numbers in the correct location on their ladder. The winner in each group is the first player to place 5 numbers in order in the rungs of their ladder!

Year 5 – Science – Earth & Space

Moon Phases Hopscotch

Start by recapping learning of the phases of the moon. In pairs, have the children create a hopscotch game with 8 squares, using chalk on the playground. They must draw a phase of the moon in each square. Play hopscotch by throwing a stone onto a square, jumping up to the end of the hopscotch grid then back. On their way back, they must name the phase of the moon the stone has landed on and collect it. Repeat!

These activities are just snippets taken from our unique outdoor lesson plans, which help you to take curriculum objectives into your outdoor space. We know not every school has extensive natural spaces so all of our activities are designed to be delivered in any space from playgrounds to school gardens, making it easy for you to adapt them to your outdoor environment. We also know you don’t have time to be making extensive resources so all of our lesson plans only use classroom equipment, a few writing materials and natural loose parts (for a touch of nature!)

If you decide to deliver any of these outdoor activities, let us know how it goes over on our social media! And if you enjoy teaching in this way so much you would like access to more lesson plans covering a wide range of curriculum areas, then check out our subscription plans! Our planning covers a range of subjects from KS1 through to the newly released UKS2!!

Find out more about the Outdoor Planning Hub and download FREE sample lesson plans!