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Time Outdoors: Outside Learning

Outside play can help a child learn about the world around them, but it also can help students with boosting their mental and physical health. Engaging in new opportunities makes kids happier. The outdoor experience provides the perfect setting for the excitement of learning. It doesn’t have to just be for homeschooling. If your child is in school, be a voice and encourage their classroom teacher to take the class outside for learning sessions and play.

boy reading outside

BENEFITS OF LEARNING OUTSIDE:

  1. Makes learning more engaging – there are so many ways you can engage learning outside by movement, interacting with the environment, etc. Any subject can benefit from time outside. 
  2. Makes learning relevant – Many concepts can are a lot easier to understand in context. Being outside can help this. 
  3. Nurtures creativity and imagination – exploration and play are wonderful for learning. The more time you have outside to play is honestly better. It’s amazing how much can be learned through play.
  4. Reduces behavior issues – happy children are less likely to have behaviour issues. Being outdoors with room for exploration and play helps with this. 
  5. Keeps you healthy – being outside is great for your health. Sunshine is a natural mood enhancer. You get more oxygen in your body. It is not just physical health but also mental health. 

young boy walking with stick

1000 HOURS OUTSIDE

This is a great challenge. Can you spend 1000 hours outside in a year – learning, playing, etc.? Follow them on Instagram for ideas and inspiration. Or check out their website.

For me, the benefit of unschooling and homeschooling is that my girls get a lot of outside play time, exploration and imagination time. We even take lessons outside – sitting under a tree and reading, writing based on what we see, talking about nature and animals. If you are homeschooling and follow a set curriculum, take lessons outside. Just being outside is so refreshing and can be a great mental reset. 


2 girls outside walking hand in hand

“All the latest research shows that play itself turns out to be the most important developmental booster of all. If it were a class, there would be waiting lists to get in.” Lenore Skenazy. Free-range Kids.

PLAY BASED OUTSIDE LEARNING

Play based learning is vital for our children. They learn so much through play. So get them outdoors where they can be inspired. I love to watch my girls play outside. When it rains they are often heard tramping through the tree line at the back of the yard in search of treasures, or climbing a tree and pretending to be a pirate in a storm. Not too long ago we had an afternoon of heavy rain. They spent a couple of hours (in rainboots and not much else) zooming down the driveway into the big puddle at the end. One of them worked out that if she braked in a certain way then she could create a spray like you get when you drive through a puddle a certain way. She attempted several methods to get the best spray (and surprisingly had no accidents!). In sunny weather they might be creating villages with blocks or with chalk, using their toys and then riding their bikes or scooters around them. 

Play based learning and outdoor learning can, and should, go hand in hand. 


Can you accept a challenge of getting outdoors more? Whether the back yard, parks, playgrounds, national parks or the beach. Don’t let the cold or the heat deter you. Rain? Try something new. Windy. Why not fly kites? Make the most of having lessons outside, as well as promoting play for your children outside. 

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Category:Family, Homeschool
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