Children who explore the great outdoors are exposed to a range of learning opportunities that can help them with their overall development. Unfortunately, not all children are lucky enough to have access to a safe outdoor space to play, which is why it’s important for parents and teachers to find other ways to ensure young people are reaping the benefits of nature. I have teamed up with an independent girls’ school in Hertfordshire to explore in further detail below.
It’s important for children to understand that learning doesn’t just happen inside a classroom. There are opportunities to learn all around us. Nature provides young people with ample opportunity to apply what they have learnt in school to the real world. The good news is, there are so many outdoor activities you could explore with your child to help support their learning and development. Here are few examples:
- Growing your own flowers or vegetables to teach children about photosynthesis and the lifecycle of a plant
- Going camping to teach your youngsters various survival skills, like map reading and starting a fire with natural materials
- Taking walks through the woods and discussing what animals and bugs might be living amongst the trees
As well as promoting a healthy, active lifestyle, outdoor learning essentially helps children become better at problem-solving and analysing risks, while also nurturing their imagination and creativity. For younger children, outdoor activities are a chance for them to develop their fine motor skills. The skills developed then contribute to improved confidence. Plus, with such a vast array of available activities, outdoor learning provides something for everyone, no matter their age or ability.
Spending time outdoors has also been proven to offer a range of mental health benefits too. Fresh air, exercise and the sounds of nature are great for promoting the release of ‘feel-good’ hormones that help us tackle stress and anxiety. With that said, you may notice your child is in a better mood after spending time outdoors.