Outdoor learning journeys are a fun, interactive and very popular form of activity for children. Even for children as young as preschool age, under the right supervision, outdoor learning journeys can be an incredibly fun and exciting experience for kids that they can hold onto for a very long time. First Steps Preschool @ Yishun is one of the preschools in Singapore that offers outdoor learning journeys in their curriculum.
Unlike the controlled environment of an indoor learning environment, an outdoor learning journey always comes combined with a strong sense of adventure and possibility. Our children are very sensitive to this even at a preschool age. When going outdoors, they can immediately sense that there is a drastic shift in the environment and they react to this change appropriately through interacting and regarding their surroundings drastically differently.
Outdoor learning can help forge group dynamics
It is no surprise that in the great outdoors, children learn to be less solitary and are more willing to group up in order to achieve their objectives. In a controlled, sterile environment like the classroom, it is much easier for a child to withdraw from groups as they feel no immediate pressure to socialize. But, when thrust into an outdoor environment, they are no longer stuck in a fixed sitting pattern with stern rules on where they can go – this triggers their sense of freedom and gives them the idea that they can explore past their usual patterns of behaviour.
Research suggests that forming groups outdoors has profound effects on a child’s mental and intellectual as well as social development. They learn to give and take, to sometimes lead and sometimes follow. In a group situation outdoors, it also suggests that their creative and problem-solving skills are put to the test and honed in an external environment.
Become healthier by moving about outdoors
Through outdoor activities, children naturally burn more calories and release more endorphins, making it a whole different experience from lessons indoors. The benefits of outdoor learning journeys is not simply physical in nature – research has shown that coming into contact with nature and greenery can help a child’s emotional and mental well-being. Given the ability to roam about freely, children are able to refresh their minds and get into a positive mental state which is ideal for learning and the development of the mind.
Outdoors, there is much more sensory inputs than indoors. There are birds, animals and other flora which enrich a child’s perspective with its colour and vibrancy. By being thrust into such an environment, a child is able to observe a far larger spectrum of experiences and this aids in the development of their mental faculties. As the saying goes, neurons that wire together fire together.
Outdoor learning is more practical
Being outdoors is incredibly hands-on – children who are able to go to outdoor learning journeys will find themselves being able to play with and touch many aspects of nature. Be it playing with tiny bugs, doing little science projects with plants, or gathering certain types of insects for a project, children get a specific hands-on type of experience that they simply cannot get in at indoor environment. Hence, outdoor learning journeys are perfect for a child’s introduction to biology and life sciences.
Outdoor learning journeys can improve behaviour
Through going outdoors, children can actually learn to behave themselves better. When children are in a cooped up environment, research has shown that they have a higher propensity at becoming restless, having too much energy and thus acting out through misbehaviour. When they are outdoors, children tend to be less raucous – lest they not be allowed to participate in the activities!
Many teachers who are experienced in running learning journeys report that children on these field trips tend to be more well-behaved and tolerant with one another. They tended to look out for each other more, would help those that were lagging behind and ultimately the general levels of fun and warmth in the classroom was at a much higher level.
Are outdoor learning journeys safe for my preschool child?
At Our First Steps preschool in Yishun, outdoor learning journeys will be conducted only with the most stringent safety measurements and teacher-to-child ratios. Such excursions have been meticulously planned in order to give your child a safe, fun and educational experience.
First Steps Preschool @ Yishun
6 Yishun Industrial Street 1
#01-07/08 Northview Bizhub