Benefits Of Outdoor Learning Environment

April 30, 2021

kids in wellies

As children  and even as adults, we are told about the importance of spending time outdoors and getting some fresh air. 

With children now back at school and with temperatures starting to rise, we could soon see more classes moving to outdoor learning environments – and this, in many cases, can prove very beneficial. 

It’s widely known  that spending time outdoors has a lot of benefits to our health and can also foster the process of learning and development.

In this article, we take a closer look at some of the ways children can benefit from an outdoor learning environment.

What is outdoor learning? 

Outdoor learning involves a range of activities during which children connect and engage with nature, as well experiment and interact with the elements of the outside world.

Outdoor learning isn’t just about doing what is done in a classroom and doing it outside but it involves a range of engaging activities, such as residential school trips, sports activities and even multi-day expeditions. 

In short, outdoor learning is all about encouraging children to embrace and discover  the world around them while gaining the benefits associated with spending time in nature.

Benefits of outdoor learning:

Develops Problem-Solving Skills

Outdoor learning serves as an effective platform for honing problem-solving skills in children. Engaging with the natural environment presents a myriad of challenges that require creative thinking and strategic decision-making. Whether it’s navigating unfamiliar terrain, building a makeshift shelter, or identifying plants and animals, these experiences foster critical thinking and adaptability. By actively problem-solving in real-world scenarios, children not only enhance their cognitive abilities but also gain a deeper insight into the complexities of the world around them.

Boosts Physical Health and Well-being

The advantages of outdoor physical activity extend beyond mere exercise. The connection with nature has been shown to have positive effects on mental health. The outdoors provides a refreshing change of scenery, offering a break from the daily routine and reducing stress levels. Additionally, exposure to natural sunlight aids in the production of vitamin D, contributing to overall well-being. Incorporating outdoor activities into a child’s routine not only promotes physical fitness but also nurtures a holistic sense of health that encompasses both the body and the mind.

Develops an Appreciation for the Outdoors

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, the appreciation for nature can sometimes be overshadowed. By introducing learning experiences outdoors, children not only rediscover the joy of being outside but also cultivate a genuine love for the natural world. Through hands-on exploration, they develop a connection with the environment, fostering a sense of stewardship and responsibility towards preserving nature. This newfound appreciation extends beyond the learning environment and influences their lifestyle choices, promoting a more environmentally conscious mindset.

Keeps Them Off Screens

The omnipresence of technology in contemporary society has led to an increased reliance on screens, especially among children. Outdoor learning offers a welcome respite from the digital realm, encouraging children to disconnect from screens and engage with the tangible world. This break from constant screen exposure not only mitigates potential negative effects on eyesight and posture but also allows for a healthier balance in their overall lifestyle. The fresh air and sunlight experienced outdoors contribute to improved mood and better sleep patterns, further enhancing the overall well-being of the child.

As you can see, the great outdoors has a host of benefits for your youngsters to explore and make the most of. This is why both parents and teachers should actively encourage outdoor learning as often as possible, especially post-lockdown. A variety of outdoor activities should ideally be included in school curriculums for the benefit of both pupils and teachers. By going on adventures and playing outside, your kids can learn to love nature for all its glory and can gain and  develop a range of skills!

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