There are many social, emotional, physical, and cognitive benefits for students to go play outside. As research has been done around how the brain reacts to stress and ways to improve short- and long-term learning, the outdoor classroom has taken on renewed significance. Curiosity is not taught. It is allowed to flourish by encouraging questions and plans to figure out answers. Children have real reasons for using science, mathematics, and literacy skills. Communication skills are required for sharing predictions, hypotheses, observations, measurements and conclusions. The skills are not learned for a later date but to get the job right now.
As the holiday season is arriving quickly, you may want to consider purchasing some of the tools listed below that can be used in outdoor learning. A favourite snack can be added and kids will be ready to go.
I am a long-time advocate for the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive benefits of learning outdoors. Part of it is based on observational research. You take kids outdoors and you tap into joyful learning.
The connections to learning across the curriculum sometimes emerge from personal inquiry but can easily be scaffolded. As many educators before me, I put together outdoor learning backpack packs to structure some of these connections. Outdoor learning backpacks filled with goodies could also be a gift idea during the holiday season.
Each backpack had some basic materials:
- String to help measure round things
- Magnifying glass
- Waterproof notebook
- Ziploc bag
- Large sized rope to practice tying knots
- A dollar store silver blanket to sit on when it’s damp
- Large plastic tweezers
- Plastic guide to the birds of BC from the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Your child will enjoy customizing their backpack with other essential items such as their favourite water bottle and snack. Or this could be on a list for Santa.
Happy outdoor adventures!
A Wild About Vancouver Wednesday post🤗