It can play a critical role in the development of these children because it provides a different perspective to the learning process. This is more so if the children are in the early years, what is commonly referred to as the Early Years Foundation Stage (Perry 2001).
Research has shown that the act of being indoors has a positive impact on the child’s sense of well-being while also contributing to the various aspects of the child’s development. Being outdoors gives the young children an opportunity to make full use of their senses, to explore their surrounding and an opportunity to be physically active (Jones 2004). They get an opportunity to experience firsthand contact with the natural world more so the seasons and the weather. This is in sharp contrast to the confined environment of the classrooms; children also get an opportunity to do things differently than when they are indoors. This type of all rounded approach to learning is very critical to the progress of the child.
Outdoor learning is usually remembered for long periods of time after the lessons have taken place. This is because; the outdoor experiences and adventures indulged in add to the relevance and depth to what is learnt in indoor environments. It influences the literacy and numeracy by making it possible to use theories learnt elsewhere (Saracho 2002). Children can use maps, charts, spoken word, measuring angles and bearings. It gives them a deeper meaning of the information.
Educational practitioners are increasingly making use of the external environment as a tool for learning because of various reasons. Most important is that the environment has certain unique characteristics and features that can be adapted to offer valuable learning experiences to the children. Given that development has an all rounded agenda, it has been found that outdoor learning has the same value as indoor learning and both should be given priority. Another key ...Show more