Outdoor learning is so beneficial to kids! Find out how to incorporate outdoor learning into your children’s lives, plus why that’s so important!
Researchers have now found a new name for the phenomenon affecting so many of today’s children: nature deficit disorder. Put simply, this means not spending enough time in God’s creation, to the detriment of kids’ mental and physical well-being, and their relationship with nature.
Fortunately, of all the concerns you may have as a parent, this is a relatively inexpensive and easy one to solve; spending time with your kids in your yard is the perfect way to redress the balance and teach them about stewardship in the process.
Whether you’re learning about natural habitats together or teaching them to cook healthy campfire treats, a whole world of educational and fun activities exists on your doorstep.
Your yard is one of the richest classrooms you can offer your kids. Whether they’re interested in the life cycle of butterflies or frogs, want to learn how to tell the time using the sun’s position, or enjoy planting and growing their own vegetable patch, outdoor learning in the yard is a great support to your traditional teaching materials.
Even better, your kids are absorbing mood boosting sunshine at the same time, or feeling the fresh splash of rainwater on their fingertips.
Creating Independent, Confident Kids
In one recent study, the importance of learning to take risks outside was shown to increase children’s confidence and understanding of the consequences of their actions. Children who spend time in the yard can learn how to solve problems, think creatively and take responsibility for simple tasks.
An ideal family activity for this is backyard camping; from helping you to pitch the tent to setting up the sleeping gear or cooking on a simple stove, the learning opportunities are endless. To make life even easier, you can get inspiration and essentials on a regular basis via scouting and survival kits, which leave you to focus on the most important part: family time.
Freedom to Just “Be”
Did you know that the average child spends just 4-7 minutes in unstructured outdoor play per day? While some scheduling is necessary, one big advantage of homeschooling is the flexibility it gives you to seize the moment and head outside for breaks when the weather or mood permit.
Being allowed to explore different textures such as sand and dirt, grazing your knees climbing trees or lying down watching cloud formations are all valid ways to learn about the world and can spark amazing flights of imagination and creativity.
Your yard is literally bursting with learning opportunities and great ways to have fun as a family. Pretty much any topic can benefit from hands-on learning outside, and your children are gaining all the physical health benefits of being away from screens and out in the fresh air too.
For encouraging independence, confidence and curiosity – whether you’re on 0.25 acres, 5 or 10 – your yard is truly the best classroom.