Outdoors Is Great For Education – In Any Weather!

Outdoors Is Great For Education – In Any Weather!

Teddy Bears PlaygroupMost people will admit, that when the weather isn’t right, they tend to spend more time indoors. We just don’t want to be outside when we could get too cold, too hot, wet, or have an accident on a slippery surface, and we often extend these restrictions to children in our care.

Additional problems arise when health and safety concerns come into play. Keeping children safe often means we are sometimes more cautious than we need to be.

Playing It Safe

The trouble is that the weather shouldn’t be a barrier to any learning experience, as an outside learning environment can have many benefits.

That is what Dandelion in Marsham, Norfolk can testify to. They don’t have any indoor space; their learning environment is all outdoors. In their setting, they have an abundance of open spaces, climbing trees, a fire pit, mud kitchen and a yurt.

The results they’ve seen with their forest school ethos and enquiry-based learning are outstanding. They have parents who live an hour away to attend their nursery, and have home-educating parents who want to bring their children to use their facilities.

Learning Curve

Of course, their progress wasn’t always plain sailing. There were challenges. For instance, they say that clothing isn’t really designed for their education setting. Wellies may be waterproof – but in cold conditions, even two layers of socks won’t keep feet warm. Therefore, they have ski socks available on site.

While their approach is not for everyone, Dandelion demonstrate what can be achieved by affording more time to outdoor play. Even If the weather is not perfect, you can let children outside to enjoy their surroundings.

When children are interacting with their environment, they are learning, and this is the result all teachers and parents want.

Are You Teaching Outside?

Learning outdoors is an excellent way for children to develop; it encourages risk-taking and improves their understanding of what they can and can’t achieve. While it might force some changes to the resources onsite, it is an excellent opportunity to offer world-class learning environments that deliver the best care and education to children.

Do you limit outdoor time in your education setting? What are your tips for outdoor play?

Let us know in the comments below.

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Able Canopies Ltd. design, manufacture and install canopies and shade structures
at schools, nurseries and educational settings to enable year-round
Free Flow Outdoor Play and Outdoor Learning.
For more information please contact us

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