Outdoor Classroom Day is a global campaign to inspire and celebrate outdoor learning and play. On the day, thousands of schools around the world take lessons outside and prioritise playtime. As well as having fun, they will show how important and easy it is to give children more time outdoors.
In the UK and Ireland Outdoor Classroom Day will be on 17 May. There will be a second opportunity to take part on 1 November. When teachers take learning outdoors they report some powerful impacts: Children’s behaviour improves; whole classes are excited to learn; and individuals who feel inhibited by the curriculum often thrive in an outdoor environment. When adults think back to their own happiest memories of childhood, they frequently recall the joy of playing outdoors. Play is not only central to children’s enjoyment of childhood, but teaches critical life skills such as problem-solving, teamwork and creativity.
The campaign is about more than just one day; it is a catalyst to inspire more time outdoors every day, both at school and at home. It believes that teachers have the power to inspire other teachers, parents and the wider community to give children the time, space and permission they need to play and learn outdoors. It is advocating for 90 minutes of playtime every day in every school around the world.
Everyone can do something to make sure children experience the benefits of being outdoors. Parents can encourage their child’s school to get involved and take steps towards more time outdoors at home. Businesses can become campaign partners and think about how they can support local projects that support children’s play. Anyone who cares about childhood can help spread the word about the importance of outdoor play and learning.
Whatever you do, join the movement today: www.outdoorclassroomday.org.uk. The global Outdoor Classroom Day is led by Project Dirt, in partnership with Unilever as part of their Dirt is Good movement. In the UK and Ireland, Learning through Landscapes is working with Persil to deliver the campaign.