Outdoor Learning

Outdoor Classroom at CMSOutdoor Learning in PVSD

Research has shown that when it comes to COVID-19, being outdoors is the safest way to gather groups for learning and play. When outdoors, the concentration of viral particles rapidly reduces with the increased airflow. Here is a little more about the “why’s” and “how’s” of learning outdoors.

The “Why’s”Outdoor Classroom at Ormondale

There are so many reasons to take learning outdoors, especially now:

1. Fresh air leads to less sickness: exposure to fresh air helps keep germs at bay!

2. Natural light boosts mood: can improve a child’s overall sense of well-being and play a part in emotional healing during challenging times.

3. Being outdoors increases resilience: excellent opportunity to teach children resilience—they are much tougher than they think!

4. Shorter days mean less outdoor activities after school: after-school activities and backyard play time may be limited during the winter months.

The “How’s”Outdoor Classroom for SEL

Participating in outdoor learning is not one size fits all. There is no one right way. But no matter what, planning and preparation are key:

Insulated clothing (Remember to label each clothing item!) Focus on keeping “head, heart, and hands” warm with wool, fleece, and other fibers that insulate and wick moisture. Note: Clothing made of cotton is not good for cold weather. It absorbs moisture and traps it next to the skin. 

2. Layered clothing (Remember to label each clothing item!) Layering is especially important when it’s wet or cold. Two lighter layers are better than a single heavy one. Dressing in layers makes it possible to modify body temperature, adjust clothing to match activity levels, and adapt to changing conditions. Send your student to school with a warm hat and gloves or mittens to keep in their backpack or desk during these colder months.

Healthy food choices: Staying warm burns calories. Children need wholesome snacks and a healthy breakfast and lunch to fuel their outdoor learning. Fats and carbohydrates are important in a cold-weather diet.

Warm beverages: Replace cold drinks with warm beverages as the temperature drops. An insulated beverage bottle that children can carry will keep liquids warm for hours.