Top 10 Activities and Resources for Distance and Homeschooled Learners to Unplug and Learn Outside

September 23, 2020

When you unplug and get your kids out of the house to play, you strengthen their bodies and spirits. When you get out to learn as well as play, that strengthens their minds, too! The following resources and outdoor activities benefit distance and homeschooled learners in a variety of ways. Big thanks to some lovely area homeschooling mommas and one extremely passionate elementary school teacher for the suggestions!


1. Play Disc Golf at the UW-Whitewater Disc Golf Course

899 Schwager Dr.
Whitewater, WI

Photo by: Robbie Elsbury Jr. of Royal Purple News

Located on Hoffman Field, this disc golf course is open to the public. Kids can use regular frisbees too!

Benefits:

1. Physical education
2. Enhance their mapping skills
3. Learn angles and forces
4. Practice adding up scores

The course sits atop a drumlin (glacial hill) and is moderately wooded. This is a perfect educational opportunity to teach kids about glaciers and help them identify the types of trees around the course.


2. Hike Lone Tree Bluff

Parking off Esterly Rd.
Whitewater, WI

Photo courtesy of WI DNR

Lone Tree Bluff, located in the Kettle Moraine State Forest, is the highest point in Walworth County. It’s a .5mi hike up 89 steps and over a 1/4mi trail to the overlook.

Benefits:
1. Physical activity/feat
2. Perspective of the glacial land they live on
3. Learn more about the Kettle Moraine State Forest and Ice Age National Scenic Trail


3. Trail walk from Ray Trost Nature Preserve to Brewery Hill Park 

W. North St.
Whitewater, WI

This stretch of trail follows Whitewater Creek and ends at the Rotary Skate Park in Brewery Hill Park.

Benefits:
1. Wildlife/creek study
2. Tree and wild flower identification
3. Learn about forces in motion and ramps


4. Gardening at Lincoln Elementary School Community Garden

242 S Prince St.
Whitewater, WI

Photo courtesy of Lincoln Elementary School

Benefits:
1. Learn about healthy eating
2. Learn where their food comes from
3. Explore the natural world 


5. Visit the Little Red School House on UW-Whitewater Campus

243 N Prince St.
Whitewater, WI

Photo courtesy of Travel Wisconsin

Benefits:
1. Learn what schools were like in the past
2. Discuss school days of the past
3. Learn about universities and colleges


6. Whitewater Historic Loop Walking Tour

402 W Main St.
Whitewater, WI

Start at the Birge Fountain in Flat Iron Park for this 1.7mi walk around Whitewater.

Benefits:
1. Learn about the history of Whitewater and its architecture
2. Practice 3D drawing of their favorite building
3. If you purchase Whitewater from the Discover Whitewater office, have kids m
atch up historic photographs in the book with current buildings


7. Visit the Town of Cold Spring

Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Historical Markers

With a population of less than 1,000, Cold Spring in Jefferson County offers a few historic driving routes and the Cold Spring Historical Marker.

Benefits:
1. Learn tree identification
2. Observe/draw the rural landscapes
3. L
earn about Cold Spring’s connection to Abe Lincoln!


8. Tour of Whitewater’s Community Services

Image courtesy of Whitewater Fire Department

Walk around Whitewater and point out local banks, the Wastewater Utility Plant, Police Station, Fire Station, and Irvin L Young Memorial Public Library.

Benefits:
1. Learn how these community services benefit Whitewater
2. Take advantage of the library’s craft kits and do crafts outside!


9. Hike the Whitewater Effigy Mounds Preserve

288 S. Indian Mounds Parkway
Whitewater, WI

This sacred land is home to one of the largest collections of effigy mounds in the country.

Benefits:
1. Learn about Native Americans
2. Draw the effigy mounds and what artifacts may be buried there
3. Increase imagination by interpreting the information on the signs throughout the Mounds


10. Visit @raisinglittleshoots on Instagram

Photo courtesy of Raising Little Shoots

Print off @raisinglittleshoots Exploring Nature With Children. This full year curriculum offers nature study ideas for each season. Take the kids out to visit the Bark River Rd. wetlands, Natureland Park, the Ice Age Trail, Whitewater Lake Beach, or UWW Nature Preserve and study what Exploring Nature with Children suggests!

Benefits:
1. Exploration!

Now get out and explore! The world awaits.

#DiscoverWhitewater

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