Benefits of Outdoor Learning and Nature Play in Early Education?

“The relationship between human nature and nature is intricate and multifaceted. Nature play has a tremendous impact on social, emotional and physical development.” 

We humans are an integral part of this natural world as we are dependent on nature for our survival and well-being. Many human cultures have deep-rooted connections with nature which we can witness in their rituals, beliefs, artwork, etc. Research has also shown that children in nature develop strong problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.

Richard Louv author of “Last Child in the Woods”, has been a prominent advocate for nature-based education. He emphasises the importance of connecting children with nature to promote mental and physical well-being. Education always aligns with a holistic and experiential approach to child development. Outdoor environments provide children with a sense of freedom and independence allowing them to explore and learn at their own speed.

It’s my observation and experience that as a child, our immersed association with nature is truly inspiring outdoor play and exploration, which has made our education programmes more dynamic and child-centered.

As a child, we keenly observe the ants’ behaviour; what are they carrying? Why do they follow this path? At times we have disrupted an ant path. In this process of curiosity both in terms of science and personal development, several valuable lessons are learned. These observations have instilled a sense of responsibility, the role of ants in the ecosystem, the importance of soil erosion, seed dispersal, and controlling other insect populations. This is one such example of how ants helped interconnection with nature.

At school, studying in nature can be a rich and enjoyable learning experience that offers numerous benefits beyond traditional classroom settings. Many children enjoy studying in nature because it offers a change of environment that can be refreshing and inspiring. Outdoor classrooms also improved student engagement, reduced behaviour issues and enhanced teachers’ satisfaction.

Some children may have a strong affinity for nature and outdoor activities, while others may prefer indoor learning environments. Children’s enthusiasm and stories can be a joy to listen to, as they share their outdoor adventures with friends and family. Mostly, they are fun-filled with excitement, memories and newfound knowledge.

Let us look at the connection, contribution and conquering challenges when as an adult we step into nature.

As an adult, we may have to connect, contribute and conquer challenges in the future. Let's connect with Nature today!