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Let’s Get Outside!

 In Ideas for mentoring

It’s officially spring! And if you have the ability, take the opportunity to get outside with your student and connect over some fresh air and sunshine. Here are a few suggestions on different outdoor activities that you can partake in with your student and get the conversation going!

Handmade Binoculars

 All you need for this project is some string, duct tape and four toilet paper rolls.

  • Combine two of the paper rolls and wrap with duct tape.
  • Poke a hole on the left side of one roll, and the right side of the other.
  • Cut a piece of string long enough to be a necklace, and tie one side of the string through the left hole in the first roll, and through the right hole one the second roll.
  • Repeat so that you have two sets of “binoculars”
  • Get outside! Search for birds, trees, insects, leaves, planes and clouds. Talk about what types of birds or insects are your favorite. Feel free to get creative! Who knows what you could learn about each other!

Get to Know You Frisbee

  • Bring a Frisbee along to your mentoring hour and head outside for some bonding time!
  • Play traditional “catch” Frisbee, but go back and forth asking each other questions about life, favorites or fears.
  • The person who starts with the Frisbee has to ask the first question, and the person who catches has to answer. Once the first person catches and answers, the recipient of the next throw answers the same question. They then throw the Frisbee back and the recipient gets to ask the next question.
  • It’s simple – but effective!

Measure the Playground

  • A great way to work on numbers and measurements is through using a good old fashioned measuring tape.
  • Bring a measuring tape with you to your mentoring hour and when it’s time to head outside, begin to guess how long, tall or wide different things are outside.
  • Give your mentee a guess, and then work together to measure benches, swing sets, slides and sidewalks.
  • Give your student the chance to read the measuring tape and help them if they are struggling to understand the numbers.

 Sidewalk Chalk Talk

  • Sidewalk chalk is a cheap way to keep busy and have fun outside!
  • Bring sidewalk chalk to your mentoring hour, and when you head outside, work together to think of different things to draw or write. Maybe you draw your families and get the conversation going about your students family dynamic. Or decide to draw your “favorite things.”
  • Another way to teach “thoughtfulness” to your student is to go up and down the school sidewalk (if allowed) and write encouraging words to teachers and students. Get your student excited by saying something like, “How awesome will it be when the teachers and kids come out and read these nice words? They will wonder where they came from! I bet they will feel so encouraged!”

 Paper Plate Matching 

  • This game is purely fun and
  • Bring along twelve paper plates to your mentoring time.
  • Each of you will take six plates, and split them into pairs.
  • On each pair, draw to identical pictures or shapes.
  • Once finished, head outside and lay all of your plates on the ground, face down.
  • It doesn’t matter if they are neatly aligned or scrambled.
  • Take turns trying to match the plates, turning over two and then giving the other person a turn.
  • Once you find a match, it stays face up.
  • Keep going until all the plates have a match!


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