While indoor settings play a significant role in childhood education, the significance of outdoor learning experiences cannot be overlooked. A vast body of research suggests that students who receive the opportunity to learn outdoors excel both academically and socially. Being in natural surroundings helps children develop their senses, aiding their physiological and psychological development.
What Is Outdoor Education?
Outdoor education refers to various organized learning experiences in an outdoor setting. Journey-based experiences that allow children to participate in several adventurous and exciting challenges are usually involved in outdoor education. It aims to enhance the personal and social development of children.
At R.A.D. camps, we understand the importance of Outdoor Education and natural playtime for children. We have designed our Summer Day Camps to encourage education, fun, and camaraderie in outdoor settings.
Let’s find out why numerous studies from all over the world sing the praises of outdoor learning.
Boosts Academic Performance
Research studies indicate that outdoor education boosts schooling performance and children’s social and personal skills. A study focused on the effects of outdoor education programs for children found that:
- Test scores of children who attended outdoor school were raised by 27%.
- Children participating in the program received higher ratings for conflict resolution, problem-solving, peer relationships, and learning motivation.
Contributes To Positive Personal Development
The ability to work in groups improves when children are in natural settings. Children collaborate for group tasks, which promotes intellectual and behavioral development. Outdoor activities are a great way to boost their creativity, problem-solving abilities, independence, and confidence. Free play in natural settings allows children to recognize their autonomy and connectedness with the nature around them.
Outdoor Education Improves A Child’s Health
Outdoor learning dramatically improves a child’s mental and emotional well-being by allowing them to de-stress and relax. Combining different outdoor activities and direct contact with the natural environment benefits their physical and psychological health. Free play opportunities in outdoor settings result in a reduced rate of stress in young learners.
According to Wells and Evans, learning environments comprising different plants, green views, and access to natural play areas lower stress levels. Moreover, running, jumping, swimming, rowing, climbing, and other physical activities release feel-good hormones, which reduce anxiety, tension, and restlessness.
Outdoor Learning Connects Children To Nature
Humans have an inborn tendency to seek a connection with nature. The following adverse outcomes follow when we are deprived of opportunities to connect with the natural environment:
- Underuse of senses
- Difficulty paying attention
- Increased risk of physical and emotional ailments
Unfortunately, children are not interacting with nature as often as they should. Learning outdoors can inspire children to become physically active in their spare time. This also helps fight the risk of childhood obesity. Children who spend more time outdoors will become eco-responsible and environmentally conscious as adults.
Outdoor education allows children to explore, analyze, and make quick decisions while playing simple outdoor games. This makes children smarter and expands their creative, imaginative, and literary skills.
To give your child a memorable outdoor experience, enroll him in our R.A.D. Camps summer programs. Our summer day camp programs are located in Bend, Oregon. We have multiple fun-filled trips for children to the Deschutes and Willamette National Forests. Our motto is “no child left inside.” We connect children with nature through fun-filled activities.
For more information, visit our website, contact us, or call us at (541) 410-7258.