On 17 May 2018 thousands of schools around the world left their classrooms and went outside to play and learn for ‘Outdoor Classroom Day’
Do children need to spend more time outdoors both at school and at home?
A new campaign has been put together on a global basis by teachers in an attempt to change the worrying decrease in the amount of time children play outdoors. Reports have shown that 1 in 10 children don’t normally play outside. Outdoor Classroom Day is inspiring schools to recognise the critical role of playtime in every child’s day.
Around the world, Outdoor Classroom Day on 17 May saw almost 1,700,000 schoolchildren venture outside the classroom. Teachers from more than 18,000 schools in over 100 countries including Brazil, South Africa, Thailand, and Finland used the outdoors for teaching important curricular topics in innovative and memorable ways. How fast can you roll down a hill? What makes water flow Why do leaves fall and plants grow? What is the best design for a bridge? Using maths and science together with teamwork and constructions children could explore and develop their learning in the big outside rather than in a classroom.
We all know that playtime matters. Play is increasingly recognised as being vital to the healthy and balanced development of children. It teaches them valuable soft skills that are not taught elsewhere as well as resilience, creativity, leadership, resourcefulness, and curiosity. Kids love to get stuck in and sometimes even get dirty through physical, imaginative, unstructured play. Using science in play can help children’s cognitive, physical, social, and also emotional development.
Play also inspires creativity and the Outdoor Classroom Day can only help improve children’s creativity after playing outside.
The next Outdoor Classroom Day is planned for 01 November 2018 and looks to be the biggest yet, with even more children in even more schools in even more countries making even more of the outdoors. Because outside is the world’s best playground and play is absolutely essential to producing happier, smarter children. I’m sure you agree!