Outdoor play provides essential support for children’s health and wellness, including brain development, social and emotional development, appropriate risk assessment, gross and fine motor development, coordination, and self-confidence. As they play outdoors, children observe physics, geometry, biology, and so much more.
A growing body of research demonstrates how physical activity activates the brain. We know that young children learn best by DOING. Their interactions with the natural world provide invaluable opportunities for growth and learning.
What is an Outdoor Classroom?
An Outdoor Classroom is a space for children to interact with the natural items through play-based and multi-sensory activities. The goal of the Outdoor Classroom is simple: to increase the quantity, quality, and benefits of outdoor experiences for children. Outdoor education and play support emotional, behavioral and intellectual development.
Why an Outdoor Classroom?
In concert with modern child development research findings, the concept of the Outdoor Classroom is built upon the premise that children are complex beings. To nurture the whole child, childhood education needs to follow the fundamental principle that children are learning everywhere and all the time. Children need a broad variety of learning experiences and opportunities to grow in areas such as science, mathematics, executive function, gross and fine motor development, social-emotional development, language development, and creative expression. The Outdoor Classroom evolves from the real needs of children, offers activities that are personally meaningful to them, and fully embraces developmentally appropriate practices in early care.
What do studies show us?
Studies have shown that students who learn outdoors develop: a sense of self, independence, confident, creativity, decision-making and problem-solving skills, empathy towards others, motor skills, self-discipline and initiative.
In the outdoor classroom, children connect to the natural world and learn from what nature has to teach us. We envision a world where all children have access to the rich developmental opportunities that come from engaging with the natural world.