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18.05.17
Education

Outdoor Classroom Day 2017

children running outside

Today over one million children around the world will step outside to experience the joys of outdoor learning and play for Outdoor Classroom Day 2017. Schools who have access to gardens, parks and outside areas can use the day to help children explore the world around them and promote the benefits of being active outside.

The benefits of outdoor learning

Did you know that 74% of children in the UK spend less time outdoors than the 60 minutes recommended for prison inmates? Increased screen time and greater pressure to perform well academically can mean that children are sat inside for long periods of time, whether they are doing homework or using the internet. As we know, sedentary behaviour can be a catalyst in developing obesity and related health conditions, plus long periods of staying indoors can lead to boredom, restlessness and low moods. 

Learning outside in the fresh air is great for children’s health and wellbeing and encourages them to connect with the natural world. Children are naturally curious but spending most of their time indoors can dull this curiosity. Playing outside helps to ignite their creativity and teaches children life skills such as teamwork, resilience and independence.

Children learn through play, they crawl, climb, jump and skip through their environments and learn how to develop the fundamental movement skills as they do so. These set of skills are essential for development and will put them on the right pathway to becoming healthy and active adults who can participate in a variety of different sports with confidence. 

How you can get involved in Outdoor Classroom Day 2017

Even though it’s Outdoor Classroom Day today, there are still loads of ways to get involved. Embrace Outdoor Classroom Day as much as you like and make your own rules. Whether it’s a full school day outside, or just stepping out for 15 minute breaks there is something everyone can do!

  •  If you’re a teacher and new to outdoor learning, why not use Outdoor Classroom Day to try it out? Or, if you’re an outdoor learning pro, use the day to celebrate what you do and inspire other teachers around the world to join in.
  •  If you’re a parent, talk to your child’s school about the importance of outdoor learning and play. Ask them how they will get involved and offer to help if they need a bit of extra support.
  •  If you work for an organisation that cares about children, nature, education or the environment, think about how you can use Outdoor Classroom Day to improve children’s wellbeing. 

We’d love to see how you are spending Outdoor Classroom Day 2017, share your stories and pictures on twitter @MyAmaven