Outdoor Geography Activities

Adding some outdoor geography activities to your middle school geography lesson plans is great way to engage your tweens and teens.

They’re a fun, interactive learning method and something your older kids will enjoy. 

We are sharing ten different activities you can do outside that will help to bring geography to life for your kids.

There are many benefits to moving school outdoors, so make a plan to add these ideas to your geography lesson plans.

Woman and kids sitting in grass with a globe in the middle of them.

These activities will help build your tweens’ knowledge of different geography topics and make learning an adventure.

Outdoor Geography Activities 

Outdoor geography activities can be a fun way to explore outside and discover more about the world around you. 

This hands-on approach lets students learn geographical concepts outside of a textbook. It’s a fun way to teach geography to middle schoolers.

Keep reading to see why studying geography is essential, the benefits of taking these lessons outdoors, and find engaging activities that will make your geography lessons a blast.

Why Do We Study Geography?

Geography is a fascinating field of study, and by learning about it, we can gain a global perspective. 

It helps to explain why certain places have the characteristics that they do, such as climate, vegetation, population density and much more. 

By studying geography, we can appreciate the diversity of our world and our place in it, as well as gain a deeper appreciation for the environment. 

Two tween boys facing trees in an outdoor setting, using a compass.

Benefits of Outdoor Geography Activities 

Taking your geography lessons outside has a few benefits, whether you’re looking for more space, fresh air, or a way to connect directly with the subject.

Here are some to consider:

  1. Stepping out of your normal homeschool area lets you work on activities that require more space to complete or that are messy.
  2. Hands-on activities are an excellent way for tweens to get practical experience with geography topics. They’ll learn about the world by being out in it.
  3. Heading outside will give kids a brain break during the school day. With a change of scenery and a chance to get moving, they’ll be able to stay focused and engaged the rest of the day. 
  4. An outdoor lesson lets tweens learn about nature and ecosystems in a way sitting inside can’t.

It makes sense to step away from the textbook occasionally and explore geography through outdoor activities. Doing this will help your tweens see that geography is fun and interesting.

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Fun Ways to Learn Geography

Heading out of the house to explore your local area is one of the most exciting ways to learn about geography. 

Here are some outdoor geography activities you can do with your tweens that are so much fun.

Geography Scavenger Hunt

Create a list of geographical features, such as a hill, pond, or types of trees, and have your kids find them in the neighborhood.

This nature walk scavenger hunt will make it easy to get tweens outside exploring.

DIY Compass

Teach tweens how to use a compass and have them practice using it to get from one point to another.

This is an excellent way for them to learn navigation skills and understand how a compass works.

Kids can also learn how to make a compass with these instructions. They’ll create one out of a needle, a magnet, and a bowl of water. This activity will teach them about Earth’s magnetic field and cardinal directions.

Map Race

Have your tweens draw a large map of the world on the pavement using sidewalk chalk. Then you can call out the name of a country, state, or capital cities and have them race to the correct location on the map. Bonus points if they can give you a fact about it!

This is a practical geography activity that will help them quickly identify different parts of the world.

Build a Volcano

Kids will have a blast building a model volcano as part of a geography lesson. And doing it outside will help contain any mess it may create.

The whole family will love this hands-on activity!

Geography Relay Race

Set up a relay race or obstacle course outside. Then, as kids move through it, have them answer geography questions at certain checkpoints to move on.

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Create a Landform

Give your kids various natural materials (rocks, sticks, sand, water) and have them create and identify different landforms.

It’s a creative way for tweens to build physical features of the earth.

Globe Toss

Either get an inflatable globe or draw a map onto a beach ball. Then, toss it back and forth to each other and correctly identify the location your hand touches when you catch it.

It’s a lot of fun and a way to test your tween’s knowledge of geography.

Map Match

Write the names of countries, capitals, or states on index cards and scatter them throughout the yard. Lay out a world map or globe in a central location.

To play, tweens should grab a card, one at a time, and race over to the map. If they can correctly locate the place on their card, they get a point. 

Then, they’ll run back out to get another card and keep going until the cards are gone.

Weather Station

Setting up a weather station can help kids learn about climate and weather patterns.

They can observe changes in temperature, wind direction, and rainfall, and then record their observations.

Neighborhood Map Quest

First, have your tweens create a map of your local neighborhood, including landmarks, streets, houses, parks, and trees. Then you can plot a path for them onto the map. 

Once you give it back to them, they can use it to navigate their way through the neighborhood following the plotted path and geographical locations.

Woman's finger pointing to a location on a map with white lines all over it.

More Geography Ideas

Need more help with middle school geography? Check out these activity ideas.

No matter what outdoor geography activity you choose, the key is to make learning fun and interactive. 

All these games are entertaining, educational, and will encourage middle schoolers to learn geography while enjoying time outside.

Megan Zechman
I love homeschooling! Learning is a way of life for our family. Most days you will find us exploring our Central Florida community, having fun while learning. I am constantly looking for new and interactive ways to engage my older children.
Megan Zechman
Megan Zechman
Megan Zechman

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