Wilderness & Adventure
Outdoor and experiential education is essential for developing children into well-rounded and resilient human beings. Adventure-based learning and challenge within wilderness environments builds grit and resilience, develops valuable skills and competencies, increases independence and self-esteem and gets young people active outside the barriers of the classroom.
What's more, outdoor learning has incredible potential to engage our innate sense of curiosity and awe, while nurturing a love and appreciation of nature and the wildlife which lives within it.
What Are the Benefits of Outdoor Education for Children?
There are many well-documented benefits of learning outdoors. Some of the best are as follows:
Increases learner engagement and provides transformative learning experiences
Engages higher level learning
Challenges and excites
Allows children to try new things and take controlled risks
Builds inner confidence and self esteem
Develops social skills in an informal setting
Develops team work and problem solving skills
Encourages active and healthy lifestyles
Builds environmental awareness and fosters responsible stewardship of the environment
Forces children to learn to live without smart phones and other devices
Born To Be Wild
The word innate means hereditary or human nature. At Outdoortopia, we're big believers that human beings are born to be outdoors. Being surrounded by forests, mountains and lakes calms us, grounds us, and deeply enriches us in a way that no artificial setting is able to (not even a Starbucks Cafe!).
Of course, most people know this intuitively. It's human instinct to want to explore, smell the scents of the forest and breath fresh, clean air. But even so, many children in our modern world grow up without meaningful outdoor experiences, and this nature deficit, can only spell trouble for human health and happiness, and the long-term protection of our natural places and wildlife.
Let's Get Rid of Nature Deficit!
As adults, we love to hear the joyful sound of children laughing, and the sight of children smiling and interacting with their friends.
As educators and parents, our duty is to offer inspiring places to learn, which successfully support the learning process both inside and outside walls. However, many of the outdoor spaces in our schools and local communities weren't built with this in mind, and so they fall short as places for learning to take place.
Have you ever wondered why children are often drawn to the wilder parts of your garden or the school playground? They could choose to play on the well manicured lawn or by the landscaped flower bed, yet more often than not, they're drawn to the overgrown corner with the weeds and uneven paving. But why?
Well, that's because children have an in-built curiosity to explore natural places and learn through creative play. While adults tend to prefer carefully planted flower beds and well-trimmed bushes, these artificial outdoor environments don't necessarily benefit child development.
Outdoor Classrooms: Join the Revolution!
Building effective outdoor learning environments for children provides opportunities for children to take part in imaginative and playful outdoor learning, while also learning the importance of taking risks and overcoming challenges and obstacles. Activity-based learning outside the classroom is a highly effective tool, which helps to boost a child's emotional and social development, while also presenting a whole new educational experience.