This space is to share fun preschool ideas and activities. I am also passionate about children exploring their outdoor surroundings. Thanks for stopping by to see the latest Adventure with the Kerr's!

Saturday, May 22

Outdoor Education

I believe it is time to stand high and proud on my soap box for a minute or two. I have always been a big advocate of outdoor education even before I knew there was a technical name, or schools that  incorporate an outdoor education program into their yearly curriculum. I'm sure many of you are big advocates as well, not realizing it in educational terms, beginning when you were a child, and were given the opportunities to begin exploring the world around you.

As children are exposed to the native wildlife, to the river, sky, dirt, fire, to all the elements, they begin to develop their own identity in relation to the world around them. If children have only seen and read about a caterpillar in a book, their level of learning is in my terms, "one dimensional". But if the child has done some foundational "one dimensional" learning, the first time they are able to see a caterpillar in the wild it is an experience they will remember. Why? Because they have done the book work, the "one dimensional learning" to prepare them for the new experience. This experiential part is to make a full connection; to touch and hold the caterpillar, to watch how it climbs up a cottonwood tree to make a cocoon, to see hundreds of cocoons, to feel the holes in the leaves the caterpillar has eaten. This my friends is an experiential learning at its finest, this is part of an outdoor education that I feel all children NEED!

I'm not going to spend time talking about why schools are not able to take "field trips" to make these kind of experiences happen. But as a parent you can make decisions as to the kind of activities you will allow your child to participate in, and I hope that some of those activities will be to go outdoors to explore.

This past week while we spent time on the Green River I found myself again. I found the little girl who was excited to find rocks, to pick wild desert flowers, and who could play in the water for hours. The best part about it all is that I was able to have this experience with my own children, as I watched them explore this new world, it was as if I was seeing it for the first time too.

one of the many caterpillars

 What can you see high up in the cottonwood tree?

"Watch me throw this rock!" 

 She ate a whole lot of sand! 

river rafting

the adventureKerrs


softearthart said...

Children sure do need to get outside and explore the natural world, we have become much to safety conscious, and fearful of all the things that might befall the school child on such a trip, that it is easier to say "no" its a mad, mad world. cheers Marie

Michelle said...

I loved your post! I think it is so important to allow children to experience nature to the fullest. Get dirty, eat sand :), get wet & gritty, feel the slime of a slug, etc... it teaches them so much about themselves and the world around them. We are in a school district that doesn't allow for a lot of outdoor experiences... so it is MY job to give it to my children and the children in my care, and I revel in it :) Again, I am glad I found your blog :)

Haley and Lance (but probably just Haley) said...


Elise said...

Playing outside and exploring the great outdoors is one of our favourite things to do.

It is a privilege to play outside with young children and what a treat to re-visit your own childhood.

Brent and Terina Maldonado said...

I love it! SO TRUE! Our back yard is typical surburban small and typical az filled with rocks. So Croix and I will sit on our front stoop. He loves it, he picks up leaves and rocks and dirt! I try and go places where he can see other things too! Way to inspire my friend!

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