At Burlington Infants, we want to make teaching and learning as enjoyable and as engaging as possible.
Research shows that being outdoors has huge benefits for children, both physically and mentally. There are 9 main ways that children benefit from learning and playing outside:
Build confidence and independence
Building dens, navigating with a compass, using tools in woodwork are just some of the activities that instill children with confidence and a sense of independence.
Feeling empathy for others and nature
Working as a team in a natural setting helps bond children as a group. It also makes them aware of the need to care for each other and the environment.
Running around and climbing trees helps develop muscle strength, aerobic fitness and co-ordination.
Studies have highlighted a multitude of health benefits to being outside, with sunlight boosting serotonin, the chemical linked to feelings of well-being, while vitamin D, which is essential for bone and muscle health, is also provided by the sun’s rays.
Improved mental health
Children today are experiencing increased stress caused by a range of pressures, from school exams and tests to social media. Mental health professionals acknowledge that maintaining a relationship with nature can be very helpful in supporting children’s emotional and mental well-being.
Learning by experience
Research shows that young children learn best from experience, by using their senses actively rather than passively, and it’s via these experiences that learning remains with us into adulthood.
Exposure to manageable risk
Outdoors, children can run and make a noise, get their hands dirty and experience manageable risk, which is essential for healthy child development, through activities such as den building, supervised fire making and cooking.
Better sleep and mood
Children – and adults – sleep more deeply after either playing outside or going for a long walk, and moods can lift just from breathing in a few lungfuls of fresh air!
Learning about spiritual meaning
Outside the confines of four walls, without the distractions of electronic devices and excessive supervision, children can move, explore and discover at their own pace, connecting to the natural world – a place not created by man, that had deep spiritual meaning for our ancestors.
Here is a video of our Reception children learning outdoors so far this year…