Outdoor learning provides a hands-on environment for children to discover and learn through experience. When children learn in the great outdoors, they tend to:
1. Pay more attention
2. Be more active
3. Behave better
Pay More Attention
Children tend to remember more when learning outside. When children learn from experience, lessons resonate for a longer period of time. By putting learning to practice, in an outdoor science experiment for example, children are not only more likely to remember the lesson but also have more fun doing it, making it easier to recall the experience/lesson later on.
Be More Active
Being outside also provides children with an opportunity to engage in more physical activity versus learning indoors. This is a huge benefit of outdoor learning, as regular moderate to intense physical activity is associated with improved overall health and well being. Current CDC reports indicate child obesity is at an all time high in the United States. When children learn and play regularly outside, they are less likely to become obese or develop associated lifelong health conditions.
Outdoor learning has also been shown to improve child temperament. When children learn outside, stress levels naturally go down. Even just brief lessons outside have been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety, distraction and ADHD in children. A nationwide survey gauging principals’ thoughts on outdoor recess indicated that children were significantly better behaved post being outdoors, even when only for brief periods.
Making an Outdoor Classroom
As mounting evidence is presented supporting the inclusion of outdoor learning in U.S. classrooms, the demand for outdoor classrooms continues to rise. Fortunately, making an outdoor classroom is simple.
Metal shelters or shade structures can be utilized to block out UV rays and provide the right amount of shade for optimal learning. Metal shelters also keep rain out, an essential factor to consider during peak times of precipitation or in states that traditionally yield higher rainfall. Another item to consider is seating. Picnic tables are an excellent choice for outdoor classrooms, as they are durable and equipped to withstand outdoor elements over time. Additional site amenities, like wastebaskets and bike racks provide the final touches needed to construct the ideal outdoor classroom. At Pro Playgrounds, we carry and install all of the needed materials to create your outdoor classroom. Browse our inventory today!