Outdoor education can simply be defined as providing engaging, tactile activities and learning opportunities in the natural world beyond that of the confines of the traditional classroom.
As educators, we should provide children with contact with the natural world, and offer them experiences that are unique to outdoors, says Australian International School‘s Outdoor Education expert, Cameron John Barry. It begins when mum or dad push the pram to the local park, beach or backyard. That opportunity to dig a hole, feel the mud squish between your toes or sand crunch in your teeth – these experiences are priceless.
Why has it become so popular?
Outdoor education programs support the development of healthy and active lifestyles by offering children opportunities for physical activity, freedom and movement. Research shows that children playing outside are generally more active and develop gross motor skills. In my opinion, the return to nature-based programs will enhance children’s sense of belonging in our world in a deep and profound way. A return to nature-based play, when coupled with initiatives like school garden projects, will create a generation of children with healthier minds, bodies, hearts and souls.
What if your child doesn’t like going outdoors?
Parents are the main role models for their kids. Find time once a week to take your child on an exploration hike, a trip to the beach to look for crabs or a simple bike ride in the park. Make it fun and engaging, praise your child for their efforts and constantly look for other family opportunities and engagement.
Australian International School
1 Lorong Chuan, 566818
Tel: 6653 7906
From The Finder (Issue 291), March 2018
More on The Finder: