It's brilliant exercise
According to the NHS, children need to be physically active for about an hour a day, and outdoor play is a fun-filled way to help meet that target. It’s good for their health, helping to strengthen their muscles and bones, while burning off energy. So let your class loose! Whether they’re happiest tearing along a cycle path or exploring wildlife on the beach, getting outside will get them moving and improve their fitness.
It encourages taking risks
The Health and Safety Executive emphasises the importance of letting children engage in safe risk-taking activities through play. It ‘develops a child’s risk awareness’, improves their independent learning and problem solving, and ‘prepares them for their future lives’ . Research by the University of Exeter also suggests that children who spend more time playing with risk display fewer signs of the symptoms of anxiety and depression . Activities like orienteering, nightline, and mountain biking are adventurous and can feel risky to children, but when carried out with supervision by trained instructors are perfectly safe. but when carried out with supervision by trained instructors are perfectly safe.
Playing outside boosts their mood
Playing outside is an excellent mood booster . There’s nothing quite like the feeling of splashing in muddy puddles or imagining you’re a pirate setting sail on the ocean to make a child’s day better. Studies have backed this up too. According to Mind, being outside can improve your child’s self-esteem and encourage good mental health. It’s also a great way to soak up Vitamin D, which is used to produce and release serotonin, the 'happy hormone'. So, for happy and energised pupils, let them explore the outdoors.
It helps them sleep soundly
Sleep is important to give children enough energy for the next day’s learning and play. It also helps with their wellbeing, health, and development. For your pupil’s parents, getting them to go to sleep at bedtime can be tricky. Fortunately, playing outside exposes them to daylight and burns off energy so they’re more likely to feel tired when it comes to bedtime.
Learning about nature
Research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health reports that nature-based play increases children’s connection to and awareness of the environment. It also teaches them practical and valuable outdoor skills. This kind of knowledge is called tacit knowledge, a type of learning gained from personal experience and context that would otherwise be difficult to write down or teach in a tangible way. Whether your class are building shelters in the forest or discovering new textures like bark and sand , outdoor play is a wonderful way for them to learn more about the world around them. , outdoor play is a wonderful way for them to learn more about the world around them.
From tearing along a cycle track to scaling a real rock face, there are plenty of ways to have adventures in the great outdoors. If you’d like to get in touch about booking a visit to one of our Outdoor Centres for your school, fill in our enquiry form and we’ll be in touch to discuss it with you shortly.