5 Surprising Benefits of Outdoor Learning for Children

Children love exploring the great outdoors. They love climbing trees, running through fields and splashing in puddles as well including nature in their role play games. Most parents are already aware that outdoor games can have numerous benefits for our children but what they may not know is that as well as having fun and making memories these outdoor activities also make ideal learning opportunities for children. To help you discover more of the benefits of outdoor learning, I have collaborated with an independent school in Hertfordshire to share these surprising facts…

1. Supports personal skills:

Outdoor learning helps children to develop different personal skills and abilities. For example, building a treehouse requires teamwork, reading a map tests a child’s critical thinking skills, and working out how to cross a stream involves problem solving skills. Developing these personal skills will help to boost your child’s confidence and self esteem as well as giving them skills that they can use as they transition through life from primary to secondary school and even in to adulthood.

2. Improves wellbeing

Spending more time outdoors encourages your child to lead an active lifestyle. This is incredibly beneficial to your child’s overall wellbeing. Perhaps as a family you could go on more walks together? You may even discover new places in your local area, or learn new things about the history of your neighbourhood. If you can’t venture too far from home for whatever reason then why not have fun in the back garden by hosting a sports day for the children or creating a garden obstacle course and having some competitive family fun.

3. Encourages problem solving

Outdoor experiences offer new challenges to children, which help to develop their problem-solving skills. Through outdoor activities, children are able to identify hazards and evaluate risks. These decision making opportunities will help your child to learn from mistakes and build their confidence.

4. Promotes a love of nature

Outdoor adventures encourage children to engage with nature. They also help to teach children about environmental issues, such as deforestation and pollution. Children learn to appreciate and respect the world around them, which will hopefully contribute towards a better planet in the future. You could try and encourage this love of nature and knowledge by going bird watching together or showing them how to keep a journal of the different plants, trees or creatures that they spot.

5. Nurtures a love of learning

Finally, the benefits of outdoor learning includes the fact that it teaches children that learning can happen anywhere; not just in a classroom. This helps to nurture a love of learning from a very early age. Being outside doesn’t always have to mean being active either, it can be reading a book in the sun, doing their homework at the garden table or just relaxing on a bench with a view and enjoying the fresh air.

Just get outside

Despite knowing the benefits of outdoor learning there are still lots of adults that shy away from it and instead of encouraging their children to get outside, play and learn they are more inclined to stay indoors with them. This can be for a number of reasons but one of the most popular ones seems to be the weather. Problem is, if you’re living in England you cant really wait for good weather otherwise you’d never get out, instead you need to invest in some good clothes instead. As the saying goes “There is no such thig as bad weather just bad clothes”.

So, grab yourself and your children some wellies, waterproofs and warm jumpers and go and explore the world around you. You can always dry off and warm up once home with a whole bunch of memories made and excitement already brewing for the next adventure.

If you are unsure where to look for appropriate outdoor clothes then we recommend Spotty Otter. There products are durable, good quality, comfy and fun. Everything they have is bright and colourful and perfect for your next outdoor learning expedition.  So, whether your little one needs wellies for puddle jumping, snow suits for skiing, or just waterproof clothes for some good old fashioned tree climbing in rainy England head over to Spotty Otter and take a look.

Get outside, get messy and have fun with your children and you will discover the benefits yourself!