Your Students Need Outdoor Play
When children play outside, schools benefit, too.
“An environment-based education movement–at all levels of education–will help students realize that school isn’t supposed to be a polite form of incarceration, but a portal to the wider world.”
― Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
We all want to inspire children to become lifelong lovers of learning, but our modern world isn’t designed to meet that goal. Childhood has moved indoors. The average American child spends as few as 30 minutes per day in unstructured outdoor play, and more than seven hours in front of an electronic screen.
Our kids are out of shape, tuned out, and stressed out, because they’re missing something
essential to their health and development: connection to the natural world. When children are disconnected with nature it leads to some of the most common behavior “problems” teachers are experiencing today:
- Short attention spans
- Disinterest in learning
- Lack of motivation
- Inability to sit still
The types of experiences that TimberNook provides children have a science-backed track record of improving the behavior that children exhibit inside the classroom. For more information about the specific benefits, please visit our Educational and Therapeutic Benefits page.
How you can bring TimberNook experiences to your school
TimberNook Orlando provides learners with opportunities that aren’t available in a traditional indoor classroom, and you can bring these experiences and opportunities to your students. Our programming elevates the child’s learning by combining real world, whole body, sensory experiences to their learning.
Our programs are 100% compatible with your facility’s curriculum requirements and the Florida Education Standards.
We also customize each program to the school and it’s student body. Your students can come to our campus, or we can come to you. For example, Primrose School of Lake Nona joined us for a camp experience that was all about how to take care of a dog.
The photos show how much fun the children had, but when you opt to offer TimberNook Orlando’s nature-based play camps to your students, they’ll also:
- Improve their gross motor skills
- Challenge their vestibular systems
- Stimulate their coordination system while moving in all directions, climbing trees, rolling down grassy hills, and running from one place to another
Outdoor play also improves visual skills and auditory processing, hones fine motor skills, sparks creativity, and assists in regulating emotions.
Group play improves social skills like communication, negotiation, and empathy. Children have improved attention spans when they play outside on a regular basis.
Each program begins with an educational experience, like reading a book, making a map,
or making crafts. This encourages children to engage with each other and with the world around them, and leads naturally into free play in sensory-rich learning environments.
If you would like to learn more about bringing TimberNook Orlando to your school, get in touch with us today.
Along with solving behavior problems in the classroom, there are a number of other reasons that today’s children need nature now more than ever before.Why does my school need TimberNook Orlando?
Childhood obesity has been on the rise for decades in all racial, ethnic, age, and gender groups. In some subgroups, more than 30% of children are overweight (Sothern & Gordon, 2003). Type 2 diabetes, asthma, vitamin D deficiency, and ADHD have also increased in the past few decades (McCurdy et al, 2010).
Participation in school PE classes is declining (ADA, 1999), and current PE classes do not provide children with the recommended amount of vigorous physical activity (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development Network, 2003). Children indicate that they do not know what it means to be physically fit, relating fitness with performance, excelling in sports, having big muscles, and being more popular (Sullivan, 2003).
Administrations are decreasing or eliminating outdoor recess, shifting their focus to standardized test scores. From 1981 to 1997, children spent more than eight additional hours per week in school than they did in the early 1980s and one hour more in study and home (Juster, Ono & Stafford, 2004). Despite the multiple benefits it provides for children’s learning and development, outdoor play and recess appears to be on the decline in public schools.