What is the Outdoor Classroom?
The goal of the Outdoor Classroom is simple: to increase the quantity, quality, and benefits of outdoor experiences for children.
The Outdoors is an Important Learning Environment. Learning takes place outdoors that doesn't occur indoors. It is important, then, that outdoor environments be as richly and thoughtfully equipped as indoor ones.
FREEDOM FOR CHILDREN TO PLAY ON THEIR OWN.
A fundamental principle of the Outdoor Classroom is children's right to initiate their own activities. Children need to explore, imagine, try new things, and learn alone or with friends. Ultimately, what any of us learns most deeply is what we have explored "by ourselves."
Children Need Physical Activity. Physical activity is necessary for children's development and health. Open space offers children opportunities for big movement, vigorous social play, and explorations big and small. Their activities help them refine motor skills and teach them how the world works.
DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE ACTIVITIES
The term "developmentally appropriate" in the Outdoor Classroom means that activities always lie within children's capacity to handle them and are never forced on children. Developmentally appropriate practices are fundamental to effective learning and to the well-being of children.
Outdoor learning improves children’s health, engages them with learning and leads to a greater connection with nature. Play not only teaches critical life skills such as resilience, teamwork and creativity, but is central to children’s enjoyment of childhood.