THE OUTDOOR CLASSROOM ON THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PLAYGROUND
The benefits of outdoor learning are far too important to forfeit which is why integrating outdoor experiences into the curriculum is educationally vital. The best thing is, outdoor education can happen at any time.
Working with enthusiastic administrators, teachers and students in the school garden classroom and greening the playground with cardinal direction native polyculture mandala gardens offers plenty of opportunity to cross the curriculum strands from the indoor to the outdoor classroom.
Every child needs frequent, continuous and progressive learning beyond the walls of the classroom. Outdoor learning readily engages children in learning, gives them quality opportunities to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding, and gives them opportunities to innovate, take risks and express themselves.
School Visits - Outdoor Learning on the Playground:
Participate actively in practicing environmental stewardship on the school playground.
Expand students’ and teachers' knowledge, skills, and practices and enhance critical thinking skills essential in developing into environmentally responsible citizens. .
Promote Cross curricular connections to environmental issues through offering Outdoor Classroom Activities in the garden green spaces.
Open to opportunities for School Ground Greening community projects: Plant perennial polycultures to diversify the naturalized area of the playground.
Increasing exposure to the natural environment leads people to nurture close
relationships with fellow human beings and to value nature connected community culture. There is growing empirical evidence to show that exposure to nature brings substantial mental health benefits for teachers and students.
The Garden as the Outdoor Classroom: Planting and maintaining annual gardens and/or greening the playground with Native Perennial Mandala Polyculture Gardens.
'The average North American child spends less than 30 minutes playing outside each day, and more than seven hours in front of a screen. Yet research shows time outside makes children healthier, happier and smarter. The message is clear — kids need nature! And so do parents, grandparents, caregivers and teachers."(Reference: https://davidsuzuki.org/take-action/act-locally/connecting-youth-with-nature/)