It isn’t called the Great Outdoors for nothing! There are many ways that going outside can benefit you and your child’s physical and mental health, as well as improving learning! With the warm weather, now is the time to get outside. Here are six ways your child will benefit from learning outside or just spending more time outside!
1. Students who get to experience an outdoor learning environment tend to be more attentive and, therefore, have a better recollection of the information that was shared. This means that students do better on assessments and are motivated to learn even more.
2. Consistent exposure to nature decreases stress and anxiety, helps elevate mood, and helps with emotion and self-esteem. With this better attitude, students are more likely to attend class. According to Wells and Evans (2003), ‘green plants and vistas reduce stress among highly stressed children’. Learning environments with a greater number of plants, greener views, and access to natural play areas demonstrated a lower level of stress. Even if you cannot attend class outside, it is a great idea to have plants inside as well!
3. Outdoor environments naturally inspire children to be more physically active during their free time decreasing the likelihood of obesity and psychological issues. This is good for everyone! Consider going outside everyday and see if this helps you become more physically active!
4. Exposure to bright sunlight found in nature is also healthy for vision. Bright sunlight is necessary for the eyes to develop properly, lowering the risk of nearsightedness.
5. In outdoor learning settings, children are more motivated to work together in groups, which can improve their social skills. They learn to manage conflicts, communicate, and cooperate with their peers in a more effective manner because they have a fuller sense of freedom. Even if you can’t be outside, try to have kids work together or choose their own seat to promote this freedom.
6. Outdoor learning provides children practical, hands-on experiences in nature. Most children learn better by using their senses. Outdoor environments provide the perfect place to do this. Instead of viewing different types of plants or wildlife on a computer or TV screen, they can see, smell, hear, and touch them in nature. At home you can start a garden and grow fruits and vegetables, which may have them wanting to sample their harvest. These hands-on experiences cultivate a love of nature and get them interested in instilling a sense of civic duty, such as recycling, as well as a better sense of problem solving.
Get children outdoors and help them to become the next generation of nature lovers!
“7 Surprising Benefits of Outdoor Learning”. Learning Liftoff, 1 August 2019. Retrieved 10 March 2021. https://www.learningliftoff.com/the-surprising-benefits-of-outdoor-learning/
“8 Proven Benefits of Outdoor Learning for School Children.” The Stable Company, 9 April 2019. Retrieved 10 March 2021. https://www.thestablecompany.com/blog/8-proven-benefits-of-outdoor-learning-for-school-children