June 2024 Newsletter – Outdoor Explorations: What are the Benefits of Outdoor Learning and Explorations?

 What are the Benefits of Outdoor Learning and Explorations?

In today’s world that is becoming more digital everyday, it is important that young children spend more time actively playing and learning outside. Learning and being outdoors provides great benefit to children, and as caregivers and educators of young children it is our responsibility to provide those opportunities. Outdoor spaces should become not only extensions of our indoor classrooms, but resources to enhance our students overall well-being. What are some of the benefits of outdoor learning and explorations?

Outdoor learning provides numerous benefits for young children. Benefits can be seen in physical development, cognitive development, emotional development, and environmental awareness.  Outdoor play encourages physical activity and helps children develop gross motor skills, balance, and coordination. Nature provides endless opportunities for exploration and discovery, which can stimulate children’s curiosity and foster problem-solving skills. Spending time in nature has been  linked to reduced stress and improve mental health, which can benefit children’s emotional well being. Exploring nature can help children develop a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural world, which can lead to a lifelong commitment to taking care of the environment. Outdoor learning is not just about taking lessons outside; it is a holistic approach that uses natural environments and nature to regulate behaviors, promote emotional well-being, and enhance overall development in children. Children are spending less time outdoors and more time in front of screens. Today’s inactive ways of learning and sedentary lifestyle has led to an increase in behavioral issues, such as difficulty focusing, impulsivity, and poor emotional regulation. Nature and outdoor learning provides a unique way to help address these challenges to a good learning environment.

Spending times of the day outdoors and in nature, whether it is for play or well-planned academic lessons enhances the overall well-being of our young students. Studies have shown that outdoor learning can be a key factor in avoiding childhood obesity. It helps students be in natural surroundings that develop their senses and leads to physiological and psychological growth.  Physical activities outdoors freshens the mind and body. After outdoor activities children are happy, motivated and relaxed and able to better do activities indoors. They can focus better as play stimulates the neural connections in the brain and helps in regulating emotions, making plans and solving problems. Outdoor education helps foster teamwork and collaboration. Students learn to communicate with each other, problem solve and build healthy relationships. It gives them the space to explore, discover and think freely, reducing barriers to communication. Outdoor learning can help improve memory and imagination. Moving outdoors for some time opens up a world of fresh stimuli, resulting in making better connections to learning and improve the power of recall and retention.  Other articles in this newsletter will show how we can create meaningful outdoor experiences for our children and how we can maximize the learning potential of our outdoor spaces to benefit all our  preschoolers.

 

For the main article Outdoor Explorations, CLICK HERE

For the article Maximizing the Learning Potential of Your Outdoor Space, CLICK HERE

For the article Tips for Creating Meaningful Outdoor Experiences for Preschoolers, CLICK HERE

For the article The Importance of Outdoor Explorations, CLICK HERE