Monday, 7 May 2018

Resources for Outdoor Classroom Day

When is Outdoor Classroom Day?
May 17, 2018

What is Outdoor Classroom Day?
Outdoor Classroom Day is a global campaign to celebrate and inspire outdoor learning and play. On the day, thousands of schools around the world take lessons outdoors. In 2017, over 2 million children in over 100 countries took part. (from

Why Outdoor Classroom Day?

Children in some school districts have less time outside as time for recess has been cut back in order to spend more time on academics even though we know that recess and outdoor time is important for physical, social, emotional and cognitive development. Outdoor learning increases engagement, reduces inappropriate behaviour and allows students to engage in meaningful, relevant, purposeful active learning.

Outdoor learning boosts student and teacher well-being

Outdoor learning boosts children's development - a BBC article

Importance of outdoor education in adolescence

Children Using Nature for Self-Regulation in Urban Environments

A Research-Based Case for Recess

The Death of Recess in America

Almost Half of Preschool Children do not Play Outside Each Day

Last Child In The Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder


Resources from the Outdoor Classroom Day website which can be sorted by age group and subject area

Natural Curiosity: Building Children's Understanding of the World Through Environmental Inquiry - a free downloadable book for Kindergarten to Grade 6

Ready Set Wonder: Nature Prompts for the Early Learning and Child Care Educators - a free downloadable book from the Back to Nature Network
(also available in French at

Into Nature: A guide to teaching in nearby nature - a free downloadable book with lesson ideas for students in kindergarten to grade 6 from Back to Nature Network
(also available in French at

101 Nature Study Ideas

25 Mighty Girl Books about outdoor discovery

9 books that will inspire your little animal to get out of the house and into nature

7 books to inspire nature play

What are your favourite resources or activities for outdoor learning? What will you and your students be doing on Outdoor Classroom Day?


  1. Doug Peterson and Stephen Hurley featured this blog post on their VoicEd podcast this week. Some of the ideas they shared included:
    -an alphabet walk - walking through the neighbourhood and looking for the letters of the alphabet throughout the built and natural environment
    -walking curriculum
    -taking the same walk multiple times through the school year and reflecting on the changes we see over time
    -adopt a tree in the school yard and observe it over the school year
    -taking pictures of symmetry in the neighbourhood, both built and natural

  2. And math walks! A colleague and I developed a math walk for our downtown area after participating in a math walk at an NCTM conference in New Orleans many years ago. How much fun would it be to have older students design a math walk for their primary learning buddies? So much fun!!!!!