All children benefit from unstructured play in a natural environment, yet more and more children and youth are spending their time indoors. The pandemic has brought this issue to the forefront and we’re learning that the lack of outdoor play can lead to a wide range of issues for children including an increase in anxiety, depression, obesity and problems focusing.
Are you looking for a way to engage children and youth in nature? Look no further! The Outdoor Education team at LSRCA are leaders in the field and have developed many programs and resources to help you get started learning outside. From holding new programs like Forest School to providing Training and Development opportunities for teachers (now online due to COVID-19); they’re doing everything they can to help support parents, teachers and students during this extraordinary time.
The following is an excerpt from Reimagining School: What if we Physically distanced from four walls and a desk? Author: Judith Lip, TakeMeOutside.ca
Did you know?
Regular time being, playing and learning outdoors in and near nature is essential for healthy childhood development (social, emotional and physical), decreases the risk of infectious disease spread and builds resiliency (i.e. The ability to adapt to stressful and life-changing situations). It has also been shown to lead to greater focus, high cognitive function and better learning out comes, across the board. And student-led activities (i.e. unstructured play) allows children and young people to learn essential life skills on their own terms, enhancing creative-thinking and problem-solving.
Regular Outdoor time also:
- Increases physical activity and builds confidence in being outdoors, leading to a more active lifestyle in later years
- Connect us to the place we live and the environments we need to protect
- Boosts mental health
- Lowers stress and boosts immunity
Read the full article here.
Top 5 ways to participate in Take Me Outside Day
While there are many ways to get outside and enjoy nature on Take Me Outside Day, these are our top five to get you started!
- Keep up with your child’s outdoor learning with these free at home lessons.
- Take a moment to learn about Forest School. Join the email list and be the first to know about upcoming programs and events.
- Explore the outdoors with Nature Backpacks! There are seven themed backpacks to choose from and can be found at your participating local library.
- Join the Outdoor Learning with LSRCA Facebook group to gain access to ideas, activities and join the conversation!
- Make a donation to the Connect Campaign to build a new Nature Centre at Scanlon Creek!
As a long-time supporter and proud partner of the LSRCA Outdoor Education program, the Lake Simcoe Conservation Foundation (LSCF) is thrilled to lead the Connect Campaign to build a new Nature Centre at the Scanlon Creek Conservation Area – home of LSRCA Outdoor Education programming. Unfortunately after decades of use, the current Nature Centre has reached the end of it’s life. (Take a virtual tour here). Without a new nature centre, Outdoor Education will end at Scanlon Creek.
On this Take Me Outside Day, get outside and enjoy nature and also help us to ensure Outdoor Education in the Lake Simcoe Region continues for decades to come by making a donation to the Connect Campaign.
Together we’re sparking imagination TODAY and empowering the environmental champions of tomorrow! Thank you for your support.