Benefits of an Outdoor Classroom
- Setting the stage for children to live an active, healthy lifestyle
- Opportunities to explore and advance fine/gross motor skills and increase physical development
- Opportunities for children to work together which increases language, problem-solving, and communication skills
- Children develop a love for science and math by exploring with loose parts and connecting with nature
- Children feel responsibility by respecting the environment and feel trusted to navigate through their outdoor classroom
- Increase levels of endorphins and serotonin (happy hormones) which improve energy levels and positively impact moods
- Children are able to build relationships with peers/educators
- Children in our outdoor classroom work together in harmony and build relationships with peers outside of their own classroom
- Social-emotional skills built
- Feeling deep connections with and appreciating nature
- Expanding knowledge and understanding how the world works
- Building stewardship skills for their environment and building respect and responsibility to care for our universe
To name a few!
Children are processing and learning new information about the world around them at all times. With that in mind, we have carefully considered our outdoor play space and incorporated many aspects of nature as well as props to connect the children to the real world around them. Our Outdoor Classroom offers opportunities that are meaningful to the children through play and embraces what is developmentally appropriate for children in their early childhood. In our outdoor space the children are free to use their imaginations and are encouraged to get creative! Similar to our indoor classroom model, we have core centres staged around our outdoor space; Dramatic Play, Building/Construction Area, Gathering/Relaxing Area, Open Art, Gross Motor Areas, and many Sensory Opportunities.
The trend over the last twenty years has, for the most part, shifted from the academic to the play-based approach. The play-based approach, for example, helps develop a love for school, builds creativity, and increases the motivation to try new things. Children in play-based learning also develop their social skills — including communication, sharing, empathy and listening.