Una's Podcast of The Lexington School

Open Air Life: How Learning Outdoors Benefits Children

November 15, 2021 The Lexington School
Una's Podcast of The Lexington School
Open Air Life: How Learning Outdoors Benefits Children
Show Notes

I'm excited today to talk about the benefits of bringing children outdoors. Twenty-five years ago, when I was Middle School Head, we changed the D.C. trip to the Southwest Trip, which has become a rite of passage for our graduates. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love being outside but, even more importantly, taking kids outdoors. My past as a summer camp counselor and teacher, being with children outdoors has shaped that influence. Now, as a Head of School, I get to see the impact of the outdoors on children starting as early as two years old through 8th grade and well beyond as TLS alumni. 

In this podcast, I've invited some Lexington School teachers from the preschool, lower school, and middle school to talk a bit about how they view the benefits of moving the classroom outdoors. Please welcome Flora Platt and Kris Neese preschool Montessori teachers, Ryan Bowers, lower school Citizen Science teacher, and  Chris Johnson, Middle School Dean of Students, and 7th Grade Physics teacher. 

Together, we discuss the Norwegian concept of "Friluftslive" or "Open Air Life." The philosophy involves the love of nature and the impact the outdoor classroom has on providing new contexts for learning. This podcast gives examples of how education outdoors offers unique opportunities for risk-taking and confidence building, positive social development, physical and emotional health, executive functioning skills,  sensory integration, increased productivity, and care for the environment.

For those who want to dig a little deeper: 

https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/how-does-nature-impact-our-wellbeing

https://e360.yale.edu/features/ecopsychology-how-immersion-in-nature-benefits-your-health

 Sound credit pronunciation of Friluftslive: https://youtu.be/DJm3sn941rA 

Support the show (https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1936/lg21/form.aspx?sid=1936&gid=2&pgid=418&cid=1063)