In recent years, outdoor education has become increasingly popular. Schools have begun to move their classrooms outside, and educators are finding that there are many benefits to this approach. Here are just a few of the benefits of using outdoor classrooms:
- Fresh air and sunshine: Being outside in the fresh air and sunshine is good for everyone, and children are no exception. It can help reduce stress, improve mood, and increase energy levels. Exposure to sunlight can also help regulate sleep cycles, supporting better rest at night.
- Improves learning retention: When learning takes place in a natural environment, it can improve information retention. In particular, students who are taught in outdoor settings tend to score higher on tests of memory and comprehension.
- Promotes creativity: A outdoor classroom can inspire creativity and imagination. Being in an open, natural setting can help students think outside the box, and design activities and lessons that are different from those they might experience indoors.
- Teaches important life skills: Outdoor classrooms offer a unique opportunity to teach children important life skills, such as problem-solving, teamwork, and independence. At the same time, students learn valuable environmental literacy and ecological thinking skills that bring them into contact with how the natural world works.
- Offers opportunities for physical exercise: Outdoor classrooms tend to be more active than indoor classrooms. Moving around outside means that students may be more engaged and curious, rather than sitting for long periods of time. Activities like hiking, outdoor games and gardening also encourage students to develop gross motor skills, balance, and coordination.
- Enhances mental health: Outdoor classrooms can help students feel more relaxed and less anxious, likely due to the calming effect that nature has on our brains. Nature can also foster a sense of curiosity and wonder, both of which can improve mental outlook and boost motivation.
These are just a few of the many benefits associated with outdoor classrooms. For educators who are looking to create more engaging, memorable learning experiences for their students, consider taking your classroom outside. Not only is it a great way to boost learning retention and creativity, but it also supports students’ mental and physical well-being.