Outdoor learning offers a stimulating environment for learning which can help children to build greater motor skills. Skills that just can’t be explored from the classroom. Schools that incorporate nature in their curriculum in this way are called forest schools, nature schools, and farm schools. We have paired up with a prep school in Hampshire to explore the benefits of outdoor learning for children.
Greenery Improves Mental Health
Research suggests that contact with the outdoors can help to elevate mood as green foliage can improve mental health in children. 87% of teachers even report that their students are much happier when outdoors.
Teaching Children How to Deal with Risk
In the outdoors, there are risks to be aware of and there is a caution that is needed to be taken. This might be avoiding wet leaves that make the floor slippery or puddles which encourages children to think about their decisions by carrying out risk assessments. In this process, children can improve their critical thinking skills and build their self-confidence. A fear of taking risks and ‘wrapping children in cotton wool’ can create pessimism to try new things which outdoor learning tackles by creating exposure to low-level risks.
Improved Physical Activity
In the outdoors, children can run and play freely unlike in the classroom where they are inactive. This helps to boost their physical activity and can in turn improve their health.
An Appreciation for Nature
Part of the reason why many turn a blind eye to climate change and the state of the environment is their disconnect with it. By having the opportunity to embrace nature, children can create fond memories to look back on and become passionate about protecting it.
Improve Peer Relationships
Outdoor learning promotes team working through experiments and play which can help students to form better relationships with their peers and improve their social skills.