Have you experienced curriculums that immerse children in the marvels of nature? Are you a fan of lessons plans that present children with open-ended tasks and child-led learning? Are you all about activities where children are encouraged to take risks where appropriate?
If you’ve answered YES to those questions, you’re in for a treat. Those scenarios happen in a unique learning environment facilitated by trained teachers. These trusted teachers guide learning instead of directing it. This is school, but not as you traditionally know it.
At Kidz Treehouse, our lessons are nature-inspired. Our curriculum aims to create a vibrant environment where children enjoy learning and can develop positive attributes.
Modern times see an increased focus on academic success which may result in decreased creativity and emotional intelligence in children. Multiple structured activities overshadow unstructured, free playtime.
Our programmes offer solutions to help reverse this trend because learning occurs everywhere, inside and outside.
Being outdoors supports a healthy body. We’re aware that being in nature improves our immune systems and reduces the risk of developing myopia.
But how else does outdoor learning and nature play benefits children? Let’s find out in part 1 of our 2 part series!
1. A healthy life and mind
Children are spending less time outdoors due to common concerns over safety, health, crime and traffic. The common alternative? Allow children access to technology at home. Technology has its benefits, but it has also increased sedentary time for children.
Therefore, to counter modern worries, we need to allow children an outdoor experience where they can have a breath of fresh air, literally. They experience exercise, a sense of freedom and can express themselves differently as they learn in nature!
They can make lasting memories and are more likely to create meaningful associations in education.
2. Positive behaviour change
Children immersed in both structured and unstructured outdoor activities tend to be more confident and friendly. Under the guidance of trained instructors and trusted grownups, children can to pick up positive behaviour and learn not to repeat unpleasant ones.
From an environmental education standpoint, nature play is beneficial. Simply because repeated positive experiences in nature foster the development of lifelong ecological values and ethics.
The sense of discovery and fascination influences meaningful learning and allows for the development of an emotional connection towards the environment. Positive attitudes of respect and care are more likely to emerge when we associate it with something dear to us.
Hence, it’s crucial to promote a sense of belonging and familiarity towards nature from an early age to facilitate ecological and sustainable behaviours along with life.
3. Inspires Creative Thinking
Nature is an ideal environment for developing appropriate learning across all domains. Nature play opportunities allow children to solve problems, be curious, and play creatively!
This child-initiated and child-directed play happens when “children play in and with nature”.
Earlier, we mentioned that outdoor learning allows children to make meaningful memories. From there, children to use words to describe those memories. They are subsequently inclined to build on those memories and create imaginative worlds as they play!
Being outdoors motivates children to write about it or use it in their work in many other ways, such as writing a blog or researching more about a creature they’ve encountered.
Learn as You Play
Outdoor learning has its perks. Give children the freedom to learn differently and support them in achieving knowledge that is non-existent in regular classrooms. You’ll be surprised at their growth!
Continue reading here for part 2!