There is a lot that children can learn by going out into nature. They can learn first-hand about concepts like the plant life cycle, water system and develop fundamental skills like problem solving. Many schools have seen the benefit in adopting such an approach and have embedded it into their core. These are known as forest schools, and they take a self-directed approach to learning. A prep school in St Albans is a prime example of one and they have shared a list of benefits with us below.
Improved Mental Health
Outdoor learning can help to improve child mental health. It gives children the opportunity to run around freely, releasing endorphins that can help to make them feel happier. A study that examined the effects of outdoor learning on children picked up on the positive relationship between the two and put this down to colour psychology as the colour green helps to relieve anxiety.
Gross Motor Skills
Gross motor skills are essential for children to develop as they concern their ability to coordinate movements using the larger muscles of their body. This is something that requires practice through running, climbing and other outdoor activities that lend themselves best to the outdoors.
As touched on earlier, one of the fundamental skills that outdoor learning helps children with is problem solving. Children can explore the world around them, make their own observations and try to resolve any problems that they face along the way.
Not all children learn by reading and writing notes in class. Some prefer to apply their ideas to the real world in order to conceptualise them through hands-on learning activities. Outdoor learning opportunities lend themselves perfectly to this type of learning as they can explore subject matter in the real world and interact with it.