Tuesday 12 September 2017

4 Ways that building an outdoor learning environment can help children with their social skills.

Many schools that offer state-of-the-art facilities and equipment have been also moving towards building outdoor learning environments on their property. By doing so, teachers have the ability to continue to teach children in their class while giving them a break from the classroom. There are many great benefits to building an outdoor learning environment such as reinforcing what was learned in the classroom. Not to mention, this way of learning has a positive impact on a child’s physical and emotional wellness as well as their social skills.

  1. Bonding through learning. There are several kinds of outdoor learning options which include water, sand, and trees. Assessing the needs of the students who will be using the facility is a good way to determine the type of learning environment to install at your school. For example, if your student body is having a hard time grasping concepts related to science, perhaps a good idea would be to build an environment that would be conducive to the lessons you want the students to understand fully. For more ideas and to pick the best environment for your needs, visit https://pdplay.com/outdoor-learning-environments/. The most popular is the water trough! Not only will your child be able to learn more about science but they will also be able to engage with their peers relating to the topic as well. If your school were to purchase a water trough for example, the children would be able to bond and socialize while playing and experimenting with the water.

  1. Playing outdoors independant or alone challenges a child’s social development. Playing outside is a great way for kids to explore and enjoy the outdoors, away from distractions and noise that typically takes place inside the classroom. Children can play outdoors alone or with a group of children. While outside, they have the opportunity and the space to work out potential qualms that they have with one another independently from the teacher who, although is outside, may allow them to work out differences outside in ways that would not be conducive to the classroom.

  1. Learn how to work in groups.  The opportunity to play gives children a chance to learn how to interact with one another in a group setting. In the group they will experience the need to negotiate and resolve conflicts when it comes to sharing. Allowing a child to explore independently while playing will result in them learning new skills while navigating challenges. This type of play can lead to self-confidence and resiliency which is great for any child.

Learn how to share. An outdoor environment allows children to play in a wide open space, sometimes with playground equipment such as a swingset or a slide. Other types of environments allow children to connect with nature. Regardless of which type of environment you choose to build, the children who benefit from it will be able to share experiences with one another, resolve conflicts, and become more confident in themselves. 

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