Growing Up Wild: Heading outdoors with your students

Outdoor learning also promotes the physical, mental and social health of children

There have been numerous studies showing the benefits of teaching children outdoors. It has been shown to increase students’ creativity and problem-solving skills which can lead to improved test scores. Outdoor learning also promotes the physical, mental and social health of children, and even helps kids to be more attentive and focused once returning indoors.  However, it is not just a benefit to the students, new research has shown that as little as an hour a week of outdoor learning also boosts teacher’s job satisfaction.

Contemplating taking students outdoors for the first time can be a little intimidating, and so it is important to set some ground rules. Many teachers have a set of outdoor learning rules just as they would have classroom rules. Other educators have expressed concern over the great unknown of what is out there. You do not have to know everything to enjoy outdoor teaching. Learn the highlights, and even some of the scary things such as poison ivy, but don’t let the rest worry you. If you don’t know what that bird is your students are asking about, you now have a great opportunity for you and your students to learn together. With outdoor learning, your teaching moments are endless.

Outdoor learning also promotes the physical, mental and social health of children

If you would like to learn more about taking your students outside, or if you would like ideas for teaching math, language arts, or even music in your school yard, there are many local opportunities to help.

During the workshop, participants will sample many of the activities and share tips and tricks for taking students outdoors. Registration is required and can be completed at www.ButlerSWCD.org. Ohio Approved credit is available ST10077831

Outdoor learning also promotes the physical, mental and social health of children

Other upcoming opportunities include a mini-conference at Camp Kern in October and the Environmental Education Council of Ohio’s annual conference which will be held at Hueston Woods in April 2020. More about these professional development opportunities can be found at http://www.eeco-online.org/.