Children learn from experience. Every child feels and experiences a situation in their own way. This is why every child needs to be seen as a personality: we all have our wishes, assumptions, needs and interests, and it is very important to take this into account. Outdoor learning is a good way to support children’s development through various activities.
A child’s development takes place largely through play. For example, role-playing games through which the child acquires knowledge about the surrounding environment, are very important. But unlike indoor activities, outdoor learning makes children look, think, choose and draw more conclusions. Studies have shown that improved contact with nature also improves children’s concentration and self-discipline.
The main outdoor learning methods are observation, learning and experimentation. Working together (for example in a kindergarten group or at home with family members) provides a good opportunity to develop co-operation and learn how to respect each other. Nature always makes one feel peaceful and helps to establish contact with the surrounding environment. This is how creativity awakens, reflections and discussions arise, analysis is learned and connections get found. At the same time, outdoor learning also develops children physically, making their coordination better, their play more diverse, and children themselves more skilled, bolder and also less sick.
Nature is a great learning environment. We complement it with play tools and attractions that fully support children’s physical and mental development. Outdoor learning puts one’s body and mind to work, and offers children new knowledge and discoveries about their surroundings and themselves. There are several countries where preschool children can attend outdoor kindergartens. They are especially common in the Scandinavian countries, often following the principle of doing everything outdoors that can be done outdoors. In the USA and Australia, outdoor training is primarily adventure education where you are taught to deal with potential dangers. Estonia has created its outdoor learning model following the Swedish example.
You can learn more about what is important to know about outdoor learning and how to support children’s physical and mental development through playful activities on the page children and movement.
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