An outdoor classroom is a space that is created to bring learning outside. The outdoor classroom becomes a space for students & teachers to wonder, explore and inquire while providing opportunities to integrate nature into daily curriculum. The guiding philosophy behind outdoor classrooms is that anything that can be taught indoors, can be learned outdoors as well.
“The goal of the Outdoor Classroom is simple: to increase the quantity, quality, and benefits of outdoor experiences for children. Learning takes place outdoors that doesn’t occur indoors. It is important, then, that outdoor environments be as richly and thoughtfully equipped as indoor ones” – Eric Nelson
Global research tells us that learning in natural environments is preferable and beneficial to young children for improved long term social and academic outcomes. Did you know that:
- learning in natural environments encourages imaginative, open ended play
- unstructured play leads to improved outcomes in all academic areas, specifically expressive language and math reasoning as children grow into their school years.
- children who are given plenty of outdoor play time are able to focus more in non preferred tasks and see improvements in their ability to problem solve
- there is a high correlation between outdoor play and reduced anxiety and depression in children
- natural, open ended play spaces teach the brain to be flexible which leads to efficient problem solving later in life
- learning out of doors improves overall health
- learning out of doors increases opportunities for positive social interaction, communication skills, group cohesion and teamwork
To learn more about preparing activities for outdoor classrooms, please click here.
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