Benefits of outdoor activities for students. We probably all have a hazy idea that it’s nice to be outside instead of being cooped up indoors. After all, our parents have instilled it in all of us.
Benefits of outdoor activities for students
But what exactly are these advantages for young school children? What is the evidence behind the assertions that the outdoors is so beneficial? How can it help students study better?
There are actual physiological, social, and academic advantages to bringing learning outside, as well as disadvantages to not doing so. Have you ever considered that your students may be suffering from ‘nature deficit disorder’?
List of 8 Benefits of outdoor activities for students
Here are 8 ways that outdoor learning might help your children learn more effectively. The great outdoors isn’t called that for nothing!
1. Can Outdoor Learning Improve Athletic Performance?
FACT: Nature-based education can improve academic achievement.
One of the important studies, Effects of outdoor education programmes for children in Washington, had many students from four elementary schools. An outdoor education programme was implemented for one set of youngsters, with a control group serving as a comparison. The study discovered:
- Children who went to outdoor school improved their exam scores by 27%.
- Students who participated in the programme obtained considerably higher evaluations than children who did not participate in the following areas: self-esteem, conflict resolution, peer relationships, problem-solving, drive to study, and classroom behaviour.
As a result, in addition to greater standardised test results, outdoor learning improved the children’s social and personal abilities. A more positive attitude toward school increased attendance and improved overall accomplishment. Many scholars attribute this advancement to the hands-on nature of outdoor learning, as well as its increased relevance.
2. Outdoor Learning Helps Personal Development In Children
Following on from the preceding point, children perform better in groups when they are the wide outdoors. They are not seated in prescribed seating patterns, but instead, enjoy a greater sense of independence.
Outdoor collaboration can boost emotional, intellectual, and behavioural development. Those who learn outside improve their creativity, problem-solving skills, independence, and confidence, among other things.
“Playing in natural places helps children develop a sense of self by allowing them to recognise their independence as well as their connection and connectedness with their ecological environments.”
Consider the following finding from the Gaining Ground report: ‘When learning and playing on green school grounds, students displayed more good social behaviour.’
3. Can Outdoor Learning Benefit Children’s Health?
Outdoor learning can improve our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. If you don’t trust us, consider what Play has to say (as well as numerous other studies):
“Children’s physical, mental, and emotional health gain directly from the strong mix of a variety of play activities and direct interaction with nature. Opportunity for free play in natural surroundings provide opportunities for repair and, as a result, well-being.”
Outdoor learning has been shown to alleviate stress in young students. Green plants and vistas, according to Wells and Evans (2003), “reduce stress among severely stressed children.” Stress levels were lower in learning environments with more plants, greener views, & access to natural play areas.
4. Nature Is Connected to us Through Outdoor Learning
Did you know there’s a condition known as ‘nature deficit disorder’? Humans have natural biophilic tendencies, which means they have an underlying urge to interact with nature. When we are denied these possibilities, undesirable consequences can occur. This can include ‘diminished use of the senses, trouble paying attention, and greater incidence of physical and emotional diseases,’ according to reports.
Unfortunately, in the twenty-first century, children are less likely to explore and connect with their natural surroundings. In fact, three-quarters of UK youngsters spend less time outside than jail inmates, so there is hardly a stronger case for taking schooling outside.
Learning outside can also motivate children to be fit and healthy in their spare time. This is known as ‘follow-up,’ and it is an excellent tool for combating the risk of childhood obesity.
5. Outdoor Learning Ensures That Children Love And Appreciate Their Natural Environment
Many academic studies have linked outdoor learning and play to developing a feeling of civic duty in young people, as well as contributing to their sense of place in their community. According to one assessment, “green school grounds encouraged environmental awareness and responsibility.”
“Playful, immersive, and engaging engagement with nature as a youngster is closely associated with positive environmental awareness and behaviour as an adult.”
“Students who attend outdoor school engaged in positive environmental behaviours (e.g., recycling, etc.) at home,” compared to those who did not: “Children who attended outdoor education engaged in positive environmental behaviours (e.g., recycling, etc.) at home.”
Get students outside and help them to become the future generation of naturalists!
6. How Does Outdoor Learning Affect Behavior?
It certainly goes without saying, but going outside gives a refreshing new setting, breaking up the monotony of the four classroom walls. However, it might also get the youngsters to be on their best behaviour. Consider what Gaining Ground says!
“The green school grounds encouraged pupils to be more well-mannered, patient, and nice to one another… there was less fighting, more toy sharing, and more friendliness.” One principal stated that the pupils were “generally having more fun and being kinder to each other.”
7. Teachers Enjoy Outdoor Learning More!
“I feel excited again when I’m teaching outside…I realise I still have a lot of passion for teaching.”
This is especially true if you are a teacher. It has been proved that allowing your young students to explore the outdoors increases your enjoyment of your job. According to the Gaining Ground research, outdoor learning is more enjoyable for teachers.
“Teachers had rekindled their excitement for teaching and were implementing a wide range of innovative instructional practises on green school grounds.”
8. It Provides Practical Experience
Outdoor learning provides practical, real-world experiences that kids love to take up, whether it’s exploring different types of creepy crawlies, leaves, or butterfly species, using a compass, or starting a gardening project.
Outdoor activities have broader benefits, such as problem-solving, thinking abilities, and teamwork, in addition to feeding into curriculum subjects such as mathematics and English.