Whilst our children are young, it’s imperative that they are exposed to a range of learning environments, not just the classroom. The opportunity to learn presents itself in lots of different ways and it’s important that young people understand this concept. This means exploring the great outdoors from time to time! I have teamed up with an independent school in Surrey to explore the benefits of outdoor learning below.
Unfortunately, many children do not have access to a safe and secure outdoor environment where they can play and explore at liberty, which is why schools provide this opportunity for them, especially for Early Years children. Outdoor learning enables teachers to utilise all of the school resources, both in and outside of the classroom. This helps them engage with students who have a variety of interests and essentially appeal to different types of learners; it would be incorrect to presume that all students enjoy reading and writing, some would rather experiment and explore.
Learning outdoors also encourages young people to develop a sense of respect towards the environment as they begin to appreciate how the world works. Children will be able to view and interact with insects, plants and animals, as well as things like the weather and different seasons. Furthermore, outdoor learning allows them to build upon their physical skills by exercising and getting some fresh air.
Experiencing the great outdoors is a valuable way to demonstrate to children how complicated the world is; not everything is entirely synonymous with what can be read about in books. This helps students build critical thinking skills and pragmatic expectations.
As parents its also essential that we help maintain this type of learning when our kids are not at school, discovering some outdoor learning methods in our own time to support our child with their overall learning. You could try teaching them map reading skills or even set up your own little vegetable patch at home, if possible. If these aren’t options, a leisurely walk through your local forest will also be helpful to your child; you can keep an eye out for different types of wildlife and teach them the names of each of the trees you spot.
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