Here Are plenty of Reasons To Get Your Classroom Outdoors During The Colder Month
When it comes to winter, most children feel a different level of cold to adults.
Whilst adults may wear 15 layers of clothing and still be shivering, children have an amazing ability to not feel the cold and when given the opportunity, will happily embrace the outdoors in all weathers!
Below are some of the benefits and a few activity ideas to help your setting embrace the colder months, increase children’s outside access and create long term learning memories…
1. It works wonders on germs
Who doesn’t want to help eliminate the pesky germs? It’s not uncommon to hear the phrase, “You’ll catch a cold!”, especially when it comes to outdoor play in the colder months. It’s a myth! A vast amount of research now confirms there are benefits to being outside in winter - it just requires the correct clothing.
Preparing for the outdoors and wrapping up can be time consuming (especially with younger children), but with practise and effort, it is just as beneficial as the warmer months. When the temperatures are low, wearing insulated clothing, gloves and hats will help to capture the warmth, alongside activities to keep everyone moving.
Being outside in the cold air helps to boost the immune system and prevent the spread of viruses – which predominately happens indoors. So wrap up warm and go exploring. Our Outdoor Classrooms provide the prefect shelter for a welcomed break, creative art exhibition or an imaginative literacy lesson, the opportunities are endless!
2. It improves children’s vision
Being outdoors for more than an hour, ideally two, has shown to significantly reduce the chances of myopia (short-sightedness) occurring and progressing in children.
Associate professor, Scott Read (2016) explains, "Children exposed to the least outdoor light had faster eye growth and hence faster myopia progression.”
With an ever-increasing tech-savvy society, outdoor learning within schools is an incredible opportunity to help strengthen children's vision.
A game of eye spy, a treasure hunt or a habitat investigation will all benefit a child’s sight and encourage them to not only challenge their creativity and vision, but to be truly present and immersed in their surroundings.
3. Be wildlife warriors
During the colder months, wildlife can struggle to feed and stay safe. Teaching children how to protect and care for the wildlife will establish a deeper connection to their environment and develop their nature knowledge.
Small group activities may be to build a home of logs and fallen leaves for a hedgehog, alternatively, encourage independence and fine motor skills by threading cereal onto pipe cleaners to make tasty birds feeders.
Our Bug Hotel allows children to investigate the world of mini beasts and create natural habitats as the clear pods allow children to observe the insects whilst also keeping them safe.
4. It’s a great time to sow
In last months of winter, encourage children to sow seeds and reap the rewards in the summer. Gardening is a fantastic activity which can be easily incorporated into the curriculum or as an extra-curricular club.
Teaching children valuable life skills such as gardening helps to encourage healthy, seasonal eating and promotes environmentally friendly attitudes. Choose from cabbage, spring onion, carrot, coriander, garlic, lettuce, radish, rocket, spinach, strawberry plants, tomato and potatoes.
Our fantastic Planters and Potting Table are the perfect accessory to transform your outdoor area into a vibrant gardening space.
5. Ask the children
Children are naturally inquisitive and curious, especially when it comes to the outdoors. Encouraging creative freedom and the opportunity to let their imagination run wild can be a welcomed release, especially for those children that may find the traditional classroom environment overwhelming.
Removing potential barriers by taking the indoors into the outdoors, allows children to not only develop their physical skills, it supports in the understanding of their own emotions and encourages the development of essential life skills.
We’ve been designing outstanding playgrounds for schools and nurseries since 1998, turning playground dreams into reality for over 20 years! We have developed new ways to conduct playground consultations safely, and we’d love to help you get the most out of your school grounds. Contact Us Here for more information or to arrange a free consultation.