Twice a year, Outdoor Classroom Day is celebrated across the world to encourage outdoor play. This movement is to help teachers take the children outside to learn and play. We want you to get involved, whether you are a school setting or a parent.

 Here are 5 Top Tips on how to get involved in Outdoor Classroom Day:

1. There is No Such Thing as Bad Weather.

This is one of the most necessary things to remember for Outdoor Classroom Day is appropriate clothing. The weather is no excuse when it comes to playing outdoors. Ensuring that your children have the correct clothing for the sun, or the rain is key to taking part in outdoor learning. We put together an Official Forest School Kit List to help you choose the correct clothing for outdoor play.

Many schools are provided with funding, or fund raise to provide children with appropriate outerwear. However, if your school is unable to do this, please contact our school’s team & we can help you purchase the correct rainwear with a discount code to help towards the cost. Contact [email protected] for more information on discounts for schools and parents.

2. Plan Out Your Outdoor Classroom Day.

This does not need to be time-consuming; you just need to have a little consideration. We would recommend putting someone in charge, and then involve the children.

Outdoor Classroom Day

A great idea to plan out the day would be to start out with a school assembly, and you can discover what the children want from their outdoor playtime.

Then you can discuss and brainstorm with the staff what is do-able and how you can lengthen the outdoor play times.

Often the longer children have to play, the more creative they will be. This is something worth considering.

3. Make Use of Nature.

If you provide children with enough space, it will support a range of play experiences. If you have a school field, then make use of it! You could use nature to your advantage by setting up a play activity to find the coolest bug, or the prettiest flower. Or you could do activities based around the elements of nature:

  • Earth - mud pies, sand, clay or digging.
  • Air – kites, bubbles, balloons, or flags
  • Fire – candle decorating, toasting marshmallows, or campfire cooking.
  • Water – hosepipes, buckets, sponges, or watering cans.

If you don’t have a field, or an area of green, try think about other spaces which could be used. Perhaps an empty car park or visit somewhere nearby with plenty of room to explore.

4. If You’re a School… Get Parents on Board with Outdoor Classroom Day.

Better playtimes can also depend on the help of the parents. This could be notifying parents on the type of play they will be doing. By doing this, children can come to school with the appropriate clothing. And the odd scrap, graze or grassy knees does not result in a letter, but more accepted as being part of outdoor playtimes.

Parents can also help encourage their child’s school and get them on board.

There are still so many schools that do not celebrate Outdoor Classroom Day and surprisingly there are still school settings that do not have an outdoor learning lesson.

Parents can help encourage their schools to take part, and the more parents that want outdoor learning for their children, the more likely this can be incorporated into their school day. This is a great example of ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’.

5. Make Use of Free or Cheap Stuff.

Many adults believe that kids need toys to play. This is simply not true; children are able to play with so many random objects and use their imagination. Children are playful by nature, so many objects such as boxes, clothes, tyres, planks or even a cardboard tube, can result in endless, imaginative play.

Nature also provides so many resources to play with, such as stones, wood chippings, sticks, grass, sand… the list is endless. Children will find a way to be creative if they are given enough time to play and use their imagination.

Often you will find, if you give you child permission to play for longer, they will make the most of this and play in their own way.

You may need to agree some broad boundaries with supervising adults but otherwise allow children to decide what is appropriate by stepping back.