To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 11.1.0 or greater is installed.
How the Outdoor Classroom Can Address These Problems The Outdoor Classroom addresses the problems facing children today with certain principles, elements, characteristics, and tenets: Principles • Time—Children benefit from spending substantial time outdoors. • Activities—Even with a minimally developed yard, there are very few children’s activities that cannot be done outside. • Initiation—Children’s development is optimized when they spend a significant amount of time participating in child-initiated activities that are teacher supported. • Nature—Children need a connection to nature in order to be whole. Key Elements • Teachers and program directors must be interested in the Outdoor Classroom and committed to making it happen. • Teachers and program administrators must have the skills and knowledge to make it happen. • Physical resources are needed to support the Outdoor Classroom (toys, equipment, etc.). • Parents, executive management, and owners or governing boards of centers must allow, and hopefully support, the Outdoor Classroom. Characteristics • Children spend substantial periods of time outside, and it is easy and safe for them to get there; they are free to move easily between the indoors and outdoors. • Space is available for all activities, including running. • A full range of activities are available for children to participate in, including many activities that are traditionally thought of as “indoor activities,” even when there isn’t a fully developed yard. The Role of the Outdoor Classroom 3