The Importance of Outdoor Learning for Preschoolers

The Importance of Outdoor Learning for Preschoolers

It is undeniable that the modern world’s digital resources provide us with extraordinary benefits. As our children grow up in a digital age brimming with new technology and electric entertainment, it’s more important than ever to ensure they don’t lose sight of the joys of being outside. As parents and caregivers, we are responsible for ensuring that children, especially those of a young age, spend more time actively playing and learning outdoors for healthy development.

What are the benefits of outdoor learning?

1. Improved Physical Health

Being outdoors provides children with more opportunities to be physically active, improve their motor skills, strengthen their immune systems, and reduce their risk of myopia. Lessons can take a more unconventional approach, and children can get a change of scenery and absorb the fresh air. Children who are encouraged to explore their surroundings will test their abilities and learn new skills through trial and error.

Physical activities such as running, skipping, cycling, jumping, and dancing help improve cardiorespiratory fitness, build strong bones and muscles, control weight and reduce the likelihood of developing health conditions such as heart disease. These activities also help children develop and promote a healthy attitude toward living an active lifestyle as adults.

Exposure to the sun also provides them with Vitamin D, which aids immune system development and allows our bodies to heal more efficiently.

2. Boost Intellectual Development

Outdoor learning exposes children to new situations and gives them numerous opportunities to explore their surroundings and the world around them at their own pace. They can test their abilities independently and learn new skills as they face challenges. This will enable development of greater self-awareness and independence as they gain confidence in their abilities.

When children are outside, they naturally engage all five senses, strengthening their ability to process sensory stimulation. Children enjoy making up their games and must act out scenarios while exploring. Outdoor learning provides endless opportunities for them to use their imagination and grow creatively.

3. Opportunities for Emotional and Social Development

Outdoor learning can also provide numerous opportunities for young children’s social development.

Being outside can expose your children to children who are different from them. This makes children feel more at ease in situations where they must cooperate and practice lifelong communication and interpersonal skills that will be useful even as adults.

When children get to know and eventually become friends, they develop a natural awareness of one another’s feelings and emotions as they interact in a safe and positive environment. This promotes healthy communication among their peers and allows them to develop positive relationships with them without the assistance of their parents or caregivers.

4. Develop Appreciation and Understanding of the World

Outdoor learning and play help children create positive memories and develop deeper connections to their environment at a young age. These fun childhood experiences establish an appreciation for natural spaces and the environment. In turn, they are much more likely to participate in outdoor activities independently.

Children learn much more than we think when outdoors. They develop a natural curiosity about the world around them and will explore new things and ask endless questions about them. While learning outdoors, children investigate objects and materials and are interested in finding out what things are, how they function and why they happen.

You’ve probably seen children poke at various things on the ground with a stick they found or children pick up random objects from the ground and ask you what they are. This is how they figure out why things are the way they are. Children can identify key features of living things, objects, and events, as well as discover similarities and differences between them, such as colour, shapes, and textures, through simple investigations and observations.

Simply taking them outside allows them to interact with their environment and provides a better learning experience than learning about things through digital screen interfaces.

5. Positive Impact on Mental Health

Spending time outdoors has a substantial positive impact on mental health.

Much like how we feel like going for walks outside after a long day of work, it provides us with a much-needed change in scenery and a blast of fresh air that could do us wonders after being indoors for long periods of time. For children, being with nature can help reduce anxiety and sadness. It has been proven that being in nature is a natural stress reliever. Learning should be enjoyable, and outdoor learning sessions may prove to be a far more enjoyable way to learn new things than indoor lessons.

Venturing outside of the classroom as children for new learning experiences is crucial for children to improve their self-esteem.
As parents, we can see the natural environment as the third teacher. Preschool children benefit significantly from the outdoors, which provides them with opportunities to grow and learn, affecting all areas of development. You can consider how to extend typical indoor lessons to take place in outdoor environments. Examples such as looking for creatures under rocks or in the grass or gathering interesting sticks from the ground are some of the best open-ended ideas that allow children to actively participate in the activity while investigating various natural resources.

Like classrooms, outdoor spaces should be organized for children to learn independently and safely. Pathways and grassy areas should be checked for obstructions and dangerous hazards such as glass or sharp metallic objects. Bringing equipment such as extra water, portable fans, and first aid kits can help you in emergencies should accidents occur.

Here at Mulberry Learning, we believe that education is not limited to classrooms. We want to ensure that your children undergo the most memorable and enjoyable learning experiences. If you share the same beliefs that your children should be exposed to the wondrous world of education, contact us via email at [email protected] or fill up a form here to find out more.

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