Although many schools have stress management programmes, these are designed to teach individuals to deal with stress rather than to create stress-reducing environments. Giving children access to outdoor green spaces helps reduce stress and improves their concentration by learning in a peaceful environment. In fact, studies have shown that children view green spaces as calming and that these areas allow them to escape stress, improve attention spans, and build confidence.
As a sensory experience, outdoor learning can also heighten creativity. For example, making collages or models using collected foliage and fallen leaves to create visual representations of their favourite animal will test their decision-making skills, patience and artistic ability — all while providing an adventurous and stimulating class challenge for them.
Putting children outside in different, unfamiliar and challenging situations helps them to develop their leadership skills as they learn individually and in groups how to problem solve.
Activity based learning in the outdoor classroom plays a role in a pupil’s motivation to succeed as they learn the importance of taking risks and overcoming challenges. Adventurous activities that engage a child both physically and mentally will not only improve their health and wellbeing, but also test their numeracy and problem-solving skills.
Last but by no means least, outdoor learning gives children the room to run, jump, climb, be noisy and move in different ways. We know that increased physical activity at school will encourage children to do the same at home on the weekends, so it’ll help them adopt and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.