Spring has sprung! ... or at least it's trying too! Let's engage in some outdoor learning!
We've not been blessed with the best weather over the past few months in the UK, but that's probably down to personal opinion. Even in snow, rain and sunny (fingers crossed) conditions, we should always be encouraging children to go outdoors. However, the sun is starting to peep out from the clouds and it's time to embrace it!
As a company who spends a lot of time outdoors, Newby Leisure understand why it's SO important to learn beyond the classroom. Not only does it offer a whole benefit of opportunities for play, but there is also additional benefits to getting out into the great outdoors teachers may not know.
"We All Had A Playground Growing Up. It Was Called Going Outside"
1. Make learning more engaging
Teachers will know the difficulty of keeping kids on task during lesson time in the classroom. Especially this time of year when the days lend themselves to kids wanting to spend more time outside. By taking learning outside, it gives children the chance to let loose a little and leave the sometimes claustrophobic classroom for an hour. Take English outside and have children take notes of the outdoors. What sounds can they hear? What can they see? Then, once back in the classroom, have them write a poem about their experience.
2. Make learning relevant
Encouraging learning beyond the classroom will allow teachers to find many opportunities to help children engage in relevant and realistic scenarios. Some teaching concepts can be harder than others for children to understand in the classroom. However, if these concepts are then taken outdoors, children will more than likely become motivated and learn the subject.
3. Nurture creativity and imagination
Taking children into the outdoors will invigorate their minds and allow an element of freedom. Freeing their minds to explore will help with a child's creativity regardless of what subject is being taught. Let's say you're teaching history. If you can think of reenactments to use in the playground - go for it! For example, acting out scenes from a play. You'll see their imaginations go wild as they engage in role play scenarios. There really is so much value to lessons like this as it will allow children to ask questions, build friendly relationships and leave them feeling stimulated. Better than asking them to write down what they learnt in class, right?
4. Develop learning through play and experimentation
It's no mystery that kids learn a lot more when they are positive and happy. Learning through play contributes to this so much. Take the role play scenario from above. You can guarantee the children who were part of that lesson will remember so much more about their history lesson than the ones who were just fed information in the classroom. So, let's take it a step further and experiment more. Experimentation is something children of all ages will enjoy. Mixing things up in day-to-day education can make a hugh difference to a child's engagement. Incorporate water play into your weights and measure science class. Use the simplicity of touch and feel in your hand and eye coordination classes. Allow outdoor objects such as stones and dead leaves to be a part of your numerical learning class. The benefits will be amazing!
"Exposure to Nature Can Improve A child's Stress Level's By 28%".
5. Improve attendance
Maintaining class attendance is a big priority for teachers. If you are able to build a child's vision of a fun day in education, you'll never have a problem with attendance again. So, let's use the outdoors as your sidekick. Your pupils will love the thought of lessons that allows them to be engaged and motivated. Mix that with outdoor lessons and you're a step closer to full ticks on the register.
6. Reduce behaviour problems
Playing and learning outdoors will do a lot for child behaviour issues. Not only will fresh air contribute to lowering stress levels, it will offer children daily amounts of natural vitamins to invigorate their bodies. Also, a child will do their best not to be disruptive if it means going back to learning indoors.
7. Develop interest in the environment and wider surroundings
By taking kids outdoors you may find yourself naturally talking about environmental concerns. Especially in local estates where the children live. It gives them food for thought on issues such as waste management, where rubbish goes, why litter should be picked up etc. Not only that, being outdoors will lend itself to a whole host of questions that might not be discussed in the classroom. This will simply be down to the sense of freedom and give children a better chance of expressing themselves.
8. Expose children to new opportunities
As teachers, you will always be encouraging a child to make the most of new opportunities. Learning outdoors doesn't have to be restricted to the school grounds. School trips are a fantastic way to boost class moral and togetherness. A child will become instantly excited by the prospect of going somewhere new to explore and learn. This is why farms, zoo's, old tudor halls and places relating to subjects are all great ways to build on their learning. Not to forget the excitement of a small gift from the gift shop!
9. Keep healthy
Outdoor learning opportunities naturally offer themselves to fresh air and exercise. By teaching outside, you're already helping a pupils contribution to 60 minutes of exercise per day. If the kids are enjoying what they are doing too, it won't feel like exercise to them as it will all be about the enjoyment they take from the lesson.
10. Enjoy almost limitless resources
Yes, going outdoors is mainly free! Not only is it free, it also exposes kids to a bottomless pit of resources with nature being the lead contributor. So regardless of that school budget, as long as your imagination is expressive, it will easily transpire to the children you teach.
So, let's not hang around! Spring and summer isn't here all year round. Let's go outdoors! .... Just don't forget your trusty rain mac!
Thanks for reading!
“Together, we’re better”