You’ve likely heard about outdoor classrooms, but what are they? Outdoor classrooms vary greatly in their look and location. Although most outdoor classrooms are located at schools, they can also be at nature centers, local parks, and daycare facilities. They can have natural play equipment such as climbing logs and stumps, sand digging areas and fort building stations. Or they can be focused on teaching lessons with weather stations, native plants and composting bins. Or, other outdoor classrooms focus on raising food with raised beds, vegetable gardens, and berry patches.
Read on to learn why outdoor classrooms provide numerous health and educational benefits as well as how to develop an outdoor classroom and actually use it to meet educational objectives and standards.
Why outdoor classrooms?
Whether you are developing an outdoor classroom to serve more as a natural playground, science center or to teach farm-to-table lessons, your new space will provide numerous benefits for students of all ages.
Building an outdoor classroom
The initial thought of designing an outdoor classroom can be daunting. But, with a little time and though, the process is actually relatively simple and fun.
Using your outdoor classroom to meet educational standards
All too often, schools spend precious time and dollars creating and installing outdoor classrooms just to have teachers apprehensive about actually using the outdoor classroom. The fact is that using an outdoor classroom to meet state education standards is a new concept for most teachers.
Outdoor classroom book bags
With outdoor classrooms come amazing opportunities to engage children in learning of all subjects – science, math, social studies and reading. The simple act of reading outside can have profound impacts. While meeting learning objectives and state educational standards, you are also providing students an opportunity to render the physical and mental health benefits of spending time outside.