When it comes to learning, the outdoors can be a great classroom. There are numerous elements that can be incorporated into lessons that help children develop their mental well being, understanding of the world and physical abilities.
Here are some of the ways that you can use the outdoors to enhance learning in your educational settings.
Any outdoor space is noisy. There are animals, passing traffic, people and other elements that can make for interesting learning points. Spend time outside and talk to children about what they can hear. You can even connect specific sounds to what they come from, like what different bird songs sound like or what the sound of wind going through a wind chime makes.
- Physical Touch
There are so many different textures and sensations that can be experienced in any outdoor setting. Mud can be wet and sticky or dry and dusty. Allowing children to experience these differences can be a great learning tool. If you show them mud dry, and then get it wet to show them the difference they can experience cause and effect.
Nature is all around us and it is important for children to learn about wildlife both in the UK and from other countries. Get children to recognise animals that are in your outdoor spaces and learn about life cycles. You’ll find that many children will really enjoy these classes. You can also have a growing area under your school canopy so children can learn about growing plants.
- Creative Play
The outdoor areas of your setting are great places for creative play. Children can pretend to be firemen rescuing people across the area and use the cover of the canopy as the fire base. This kind of play helps them to create identities, learn good social interactions, and get some great exercise that helps with motor skills.
- A Sense Of Wonder
The outdoors is a great place for children because they see it all as a wondrous, almost magical place. Think of all the children who see knots in trees and think of them as fairy doors. When children are outside, they have fun and it is memorable.
The outside spaces for children in your educational settings are amazing places. They can help children learn across many different areas including their cognitive, physical and social skill sets. Therefore, don’t waste the vast amount of learning opportunities that are outside. Even in hot, cold and rainy weather, these spaces can be enjoyed to their fullest.
The above activities can be enjoyed under a school canopy to enable them to go ahead all year round and to stop the rain putting a damper on your outside lesson plans.
What lessons do you do outside? Do you have any recommendations for lessons outside?
Let us know in the comments.
Able Canopies Ltd. design, manufacture and install canopies and shade structures at schools, nurseries and commercial organisations across the UK.
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