Its official: muddy outdoor learning is bestOctober 25, 2017 • Outdoor Ideas
Outdoor learning has been on the rise for a long time and now it is here to stay. The results of this year’s Nursery World awards highlighted an array of outstanding nurseries that have embraced outdoor learning. This has been accompanied by an article in the Guardian celebrating the value of outdoor learning for child development.
Award Winning Nurseries
As the leading provider of outerwear for outdoor learning we are proud to work with more than 300 nurseries per year who have integrated the great outdoors in to their planning. Looking at Dandelion Nursery the winner of Nursery of the Year it is easy to see why. The outdoor classroom looks like somewhere we would like to learn as adults, a magical outdoor world for young learners with phrases like ‘Have big dreams, you’ll grow in to them’ written on to the side of logs. There are no toys – the children use the environment to make whatever props they need for their play, and the setting acquired natural materials such as logs, tree trunks, and willow whips. A variety of trees to climb offer adventure, challenge, satisfaction and achievement for all, with risk-taking central to Dandelion’s approach.
Little Forest Folk nurseries won the Health and Wellbeing Award. They answer the prayers of busy London parents bringing up children in the urban sprawl who can now step in to a full forest school for their first experiences of formal learning.
Why Parents love Outdoor Nurseries
Barkham noted in the Guardian that ‘making outdoor learning part of conventional early years education could be as popular as free school dinners.’
This is what we have been saying for a long time and supporting through our Muddy Academy which provides free outdoor lesson plans every month. Outdoor learning is the ultimate contrast to excessive screen time and brings so many beneifts:
Better concentration: by letting children step outdoors they are clinically proven to have better focus and be less hyperactive which gives them more opportunity to learn
Taking risks: the best way for children to learn about safety is to take measured risk and discover their limits. At forest school lighting fires and cutting sticks or climbing trees and balancing logs means children encounter and manage risk every day.
Healthy bodies: we are all constantly looking for ways to make sure our children get enough exercise, well an outdoor classroom is an automatic solution that means they race around outdoors
Bigger imaginations: with nature as a prop children can have unlimited ideas in open spaces to make up games and stories that can transport them to other worlds.
So we would like to say congratulations to you the pioneers, the nursery schools leading the way in making outdoor learning part of children’s development.
To learn more about Muddy Puddles award winning waterproofs, designed to protect outdoor learners come rain, wind or shine get in touch.