Outdoor Classroom day is a great initiative that encourages schools across the world to take their teaching outdoors. We had the pleasure of helping a primary school local to our Bruntsfield shop earlier this year with their outdoor classroom day and seeing how much the kids and teachers got out of it got me thinking - every day should have the opportunity to be Outdoor Classroom Day!

There are some real scary facts floating around about how little time children in the UK spend outdoors. A poll conducted last year discovered that British children are among the most housebound and screen addicted in the world, with three in four spending less time outdoors than prisoners and more than half being unable to identify a British Oak Tree. This must be having a detrimental impact on the physical and mental wellbeing of children across the country.

Mental health awareness is on the rise and thankfully the stigma around it is decreasing and we are all addressing and talking about it more openly. Research shows that spending time outdoors, connecting to nature and exploring near and far has a tremendously positive impact on our mental health. It is calming, freeing and great for the mind and body. It is Friluftsliv! We are strong believers in a Friluftsliv lifestyle for both adults and children. So, it is quite alarming to learn that many children may be growing up detached from nature and being more likely to suffer from mental and physical illnesses.

Outdoor classrooms and forest schools are an amazing way to take children back to their roots and show them the joy that the outdoors and nature brings. It is well documented that outdoor play and learning improves social capabilities, increases concentration, improves health and instils confidence and independence. By introducing these opportunities at a young age, children are given the best start in life. By connecting with nature more, children will also have a better understanding of, and appreciation for, our environment – something that is very important for the future health of our planet.

In the UK, we certainly aren’t blessed with consistently pleasant weather but this shouldn’t keep children inside. When we helped out with Outdoor Classroom day back in May, the kids were prepared for all weather and it was great to see that they were fazed by nothing. They had the freedom to roam and the choice of sheltering in a Tentipi Nordic tipi tent. The tent offered the perfect balance between the classroom and the outdoors, providing shelter when needed and a comfortable place to run lessons while still being outdoors. It was clear that this way of learning was fun and inspiring for both the children and the teachers.  

This style of learning is very popular in Scandinavia and the joy of the outdoors is something that is instilled in kids from a very young age. It is great to see that its popularity is growing here in the UK and hopefully this continues. The outdoors should be enjoyed and appreciated in all weather. We’ve said it before and we will say it again – “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”.

You can find out more about Outdoor Classroom day here