The benefits of outdoor learning

Nature and Biodiversity

One of the most effective ways of teaching children about nature is to take them out of the classroom and into nature. It doesn’t matter whether that’s with parents, carers or teachers, children need to be able to touch the natural environment to understand, grow and develop.

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Image Source: Malcolm Cochrane

The Impact of Children’s Connection to Nature

Research that confirms that associations between well-being and a connection to nature found in adults can be found in children, while also highlighting specific educational benefits for children. Nature should be part of every child’s life.

RSPB (2015)

Read the evidence here.

Benefits of Nature Contact for Children

This review examines different ways that contact with nature can contribute to the health and well-being of children. It traces research from the 1970s to the present, demonstrating that a compelling body of evidence exists that trees and natural areas are essential elements of healthy communities for children.

Chawla (2015)

Read the evidence here.

Natural Outdoor Environments and Mental and Physical Health

Green spaces are associated with better self-perceived general and mental health across different degrees of urbanization, socioeconomic status, and genders. Physical activity and social supports are unlikely to be mediators. This provides further indications for the importance of these spaces in improving our living environments and supporting our health and wellbeing.

Triguero-Mas, Dadvand et all (2015)

Read the evidence here.

The Benefits of Nature Experience

Compared to the urban walk, the nature walk resulted in affective benefits (decreased anxiety, rumination, and negative affect, and preservation of positive affect) as well as cognitive benefits (increased working memory performance).

Bratman, Davie et al (2014)

Read the evidence here.

Children and Nature

Spending time in nature as part of a ‘balanced diet’ of childhood experiences improves mental health and emotional regulation, promotes children’s healthy development, well-being and positive environmental attitudes and values.

Gill (2011)

Read the evidence here.

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