Learning through adventure
Research suggests that students are bored from a third to half the time they spend in school. When considering that one survey of high school dropouts found that almost half reported giving up on school because of boredom, injecting elements of adventure – and nature – can serve as one way to prevent boredom. Like gardening, hiking (or even a simple nature walk) can present a variety of different lessons worth learning – from learning about the weather to teaching the responsibility of protecting the environment while out (such as by putting campfires out to prevent wildfires or picking up trash) to learning empathy while observing wildlife. Additionally, hiking can serve as the perfect way to learn about the surrounding environment, with activities like bird watching being just one lesson-packed activity itself.
Spending time in nature has a variety of health and wellness benefits, and can also present the ideal way to learn a few things as well.
Encouraging creativity via nature
For those who aren’t interested in gardening or adventurous hikes outdoors, creative activities can be more appealing – and there are no shortage of them when out in nature. One MindChamps post, for instance, suggests a variety of ways that this can be done, including giving children access to open ended craft materials. Ideas mentioned include painting on a canvas using natural objects (such as sticks, stones, etc.), making a sculpture out of natural materials, or drawing/painting on the sidewalk with chalk. However, there are additional ways in which creativity can be found in nature as well – from drawing a tree or animals to larger projects for older students, like building a treehouse.
Spending time in nature has a variety of health and wellness benefits, and can also present the ideal way to learn a few things as well. For students, a variety of lessons can be learned through inspiring outdoor activities, from hiking to gardening and even simply getting creative.
Kylee Harris is an educator who has taught in elementary schools in Singapore and Hong Kong for 5 years. She lives in Florida and continues to teach life skills to young adults in her community.