Saturday, 29 August 2015

Outdoor Learning

Throughout my summer, I have been privileged to spend lot of time outside. As I sit listening to the wind in the trees or the waves crashing on the shore, I am reminded of the amazing wonders of our world. Spending time outdoors is extremely important for children, especially in the early years (kindergarten). I have been reading various resources about outdoor learning and following colleagues as they explore what outdoor learning means in our contexts, and the more I read the more I realize how valuable nature is to us and to children. 

"Studies show links between access to nature and ability to sustain concentration, delay gratification and cope with stressors."

This chart from an article about the benefits of nature highlights some of the skills students gain from spending time outdoors:
Click here for the full article
Some Outdoor Learning Resources:

Natural Curiosity 

Wisdom of Nature: Out My Backdoor

A Place of Wonder

York Region Nature Collaborative

With summer coming to a close in a couple weeks, I hope you take the opportunity to get outside and spend some quality time in nature with your child.

Look at the clouds...what shapes or pictures can you find?
Look for bugs and insects. What patterns can you find?
Find wild flowers. How many different colours can you find?
Go pick berries. How many can you pick?
Go for a nature walk, either on a trail or...

in a forest or ...

on a boardwalk!

Explore your shadow at different times in the day.
Paint objects (sticks or rocks) that you find outside.

Look up! Can you find a rainbow when it's sunny?

Write down what you find outside (i.e. bugs, houses, trees, plants, clouds, birds, etc.).

"Children are born with a sense of wonder and an affinity for Nature. Properly cultivaated, these values can mature into ecological literacy and eventually into sustainable patterns of living."
- Zenobia Barlow


  1. Hello Jenn!

    My name is Alana Sajatovic and I am a student in the Master of Teaching program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto (OISE/UT). A component of this degree program involves conducting a small-scale qualitative research study.

    My research will focus on the integration of curriculum-related outdoor learning experiences into the teaching practices of educators in Ontario. I am interested in interviewing teachers committed to implementing outdoor learning as a means of teaching the Ontario curriculum. I am hoping to interview participants who meet the following criteria:
    • Participants must be involved as the main teacher in typical public or private school classroom functioning and activities on a day-to-day basis
    • Participants must have a minimum of 2 years of teaching experience
    • Participants must demonstrate a commitment to effectively and meaningfully implementing integrated outdoor learning with students

    After seeing a post you made in the Ontario Kindergarten Teachers Facebook group and following it to your blog, I feel that you may be an ideal participant for my study, and that your knowledge and experience would provide valuable insights into this topic. If you feel that you meet these criteria and are interested in participating in my study, I would be happy to provide you with more detailed information. Your participation in this research would involve one 45-60 minute face-to-face interview, which would be audio-recorded and transcribed.

    I look forward to hearing from you.


    Alana Sajatovic

    1. Hi Alana,
      I would be interested in participating. Outdoor learning is something I'm becoming more and more passionate about as I see such amazing results from the kids being outside.