The ideal kit depends on how long you are going to be outside, and how far you will be from the school buildings. If you’re still close to the classroom, a lot of these things may not be necessary or could be kept inside. If you’ve moving off site to a nearby green space, taking rucksacks with some of these items should help the lesson run smoother and avoid taking time moving back and forth.
It’s important for you and the class to be comfortable! Dressing appropriately for the weather can ensure this, wearing layers if it’s cold, and hats and sun cream in hot weather. Waterproofs are also a bonus, and some schools even have welly banks, which is a great idea if muddy feet are a concern but not many of the children have their own pair.
Water – dehydration is a regular issue, especially if it’s hot or windy and you’re doing a lot of talking. It’s a good idea to have a little extra as well in case some children do not have their own or enough.
Biscuits – in case a sugar pick me up is needed.
Spare gloves – small hands can get cold very quickly.
Sun Cream – often children will forget this themselves or not put on enough.
Hairbands – long hair can be distracting if it is windy.
Rug/Tarpaulin – a place to sit and focus whilst avoiding wet bums.
Sunglasses – often you will be talking to children whilst facing the sun so they don’t have to.
Tissues – for runny noses.
Safety and Hygiene
First Aid Kit – an essential item, at the minimum should contain bite/sting relief, antiseptic wipes, plasters, and carefully labelled medication for pre-existing conditions.
Risk Assessment – a useful reference for risks and controls.
Hazard ‘Spotter’ Tick List – for making on the go assessments in new areas.
Mobile Phone – in case an emergency call needs to be made. Also useful for taking photos and looking up interesting facts and answers!
Emergency Contact Details – in case of emergency.
Wet Wipes/ Antibacterial gel – for messy sticky fingers before eating.
Whistle – to attract immediate attention in case of an emergency.
Camera – for taking photos of interesting finds and exciting moments. Photos also provide a record of what the class has achieved.
Sample pots – this could be old plastic herb jars or glue pots, ideal for bug collecting or storing interesting finds.
Field books – having a field book or outdoors journal is a relaxed way for children to draw or write about what they see and do, whilst also providing a record of progress.
ID guides or keys – enables children to work out what they’ve found and practice ID and classification skills using books or cards, such as those produced by the FSC.
Bucket – for storing finds or clearing up litter.
Plastic Bag – also useful for samples and cleaning up mess.