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What is the Outdoor Classroom?

Posted by: Rhonda July 26, 2016

The term “the Outdoor Classroom” is a current buzzword in Early Childhood Education. But what does it actually mean? And what does it look like in practice?

“To the uninformed eye, the Outdoor Classroom may look like nothing more than children playing outside, as children always have,” writes Eric Nelson. “But play in the Outdoor Classroom means something much deeper. And that something is not just the next hot topic, the next new thing. Rather, it is a return to a very old thing: child-centered learning.”

The vision of the Outdoor Classroom is based on the premise that anything you can do indoors, you can probably do outdoors as well. Therefore, it is important that outdoor environments be designed and equipped with as much thought and care as indoor ones. Most early childhood programs are required to have outdoor play yards. By transforming those already existing spaces to implement the ideas of the Outdoor Classroom, educators can powerfully affect the futures of the children in their care.

This article offers an overview of the key features and benefits of the Outdoor Classroom. Read more