Children reap enormous benefits from engaging in outdoor learning and play, whether for educational or leisure reasons. By breathing fresh air and exploring unfamiliar spaces, they fill their lungs with oxygen while unleashing their creativity to create something bigger than themselves.
Make sure the outdoor environment you create fits the ages and abilities of the children participating in your program. A successful outdoor setting should foster active learning while offering quiet areas for reflection. There are many ways to create an active and comfortable outdoor space.
Spending Time in Nature Has Proven Health Benefits
When most of us think of the outdoors, our first thoughts probably include hiking, camping, or swimming. But the outdoors offers much more than that–from improved memory and creativity to reduced stress levels and healthier hearts. According to research findings, spending time in nature may actually help extend life expectancies!
One reason is that being outdoors is an effective form of exercise, helping to decrease blood pressure and the risk of heart disease while simultaneously relieving depression symptoms and encouraging positive thinking.
Studies also demonstrate how being outside can enhance concentration and creative thought – something known as Attention Restoration Theory. A 2010 research project even discovered that gazing at natural scenes for only 40 seconds helped people focus more effectively than gazing at buildings or streets when performing complex tasks. You can visit this site for more information.
Researchers have also revealed that residents living in regions known as Blue Zones – regions where residents tend to enjoy long lifespans – spend much of their free time outdoors. According to a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers discovered that residents in such places had a 12% lower mortality rate compared to those who resided in less green environments.
Create a Path That Encourages Walking
Paths are pathways we travel on our journeys to various places, whether on a mountain hike, through a forest, or simply as life unfolds.
You can encourage people to walk around your campus or yard by creating attractive pathways they will want to follow – pavers make this easier with their beautiful borders that add visual interest. Eco-friendly landscaping pavers help maintain natural hydrologic balance by filtering pollutants out of the air, which reduces carbon footprint significantly while showing your university is caring about sustainability.
Create a Place to Relax
A garden can offer the space and tranquility needed to relieve daily tension. Furthermore, it serves as an opportunity for restful reflection and new inspiration.
Outdoor environments can help to foster creativity and spur active learning. Old logs, for instance, may inspire children to use them to build dens or spaces to play in. A wild area in a garden offers contact with nature that is restorative.
Imagine creating an outdoor experience without leaving home by using textures to blur the line between inside and outdoors, such as wood grain. Doing this can reduce prefrontal cortex activity while stimulating parasympathetic nervous system activity for relaxation purposes.
Create a Place to Learn
As part of an outdoor learning environment’s design process, it is vital that it suits its intended activities. To do this, teachers, students, and parents all should provide input. Furthermore, involving local contractors or construction companies might prove particularly helpful as they tend to know which materials work best in such settings.
Pavement, paving stones, or another hard, durable surface provides easy maintenance while offering students additional safety. Grass can often be the ideal option yet maintaining it in its ideal state can be more challenging. Pavers offer more reliable safety for student learning environments.
The key components of any outdoor learning space should include those which encourage sensory and imaginative play, like water centers and nature bowls that enable kids to experiment with natural elements while exploring textures. You could also include writing materials and marking materials so children can express themselves creatively or even use water to draw on walls and floors!
Planning out an outdoor education space involves including areas for quieter activities as part of its design. From sitting under a tree with a book to just gazing upon the clouds, children need opportunities for relaxation and reflection if they are to learn effectively in this setting.
At the core of any successful outdoor environment lie maintenance costs. Depending on its use, regular inspection by professionals for any hazards or damage may be necessary, as well as amenities to support public health and safety such as hand sanitizer stations and trash cans. Pavers are easy to clean, and as such, make a great addition to any outdoor space.
By following these tips, you can create an outdoor environment that will benefit all those who use it. By taking time to design an educational setting that supports active and passive activities, quiet spaces, and sensory experiences – as well as ensuring all users feel welcome – you will make sure it becomes an invaluable place for all who visit it.