Author: Erica Gu Cao

Editor: Connor Fraser

Graphic Designer: Alessia Carpino

Publisher: Rayna Almas

 

Image taken from Independent School Parent

 

Kids learn best when they are motivated. The real question is how to motivate them. A recent study by Frontiers in Psychology states that by taking them outside, they become more motivated and enthusiastic to learn. When children encounter trees,  go for a short walk in nature, work outdoors, look at the surrounding environment, they experience  fun and excitement. In Ontario, there are not a lot of times we can learn outdoors; summers are short, winters are cold. Kids in Ontario need to spend more time learning outside in nice weather since sunshine can’t be taken for granted here. Plus, this year has been difficult for all kids because of COVID-19. Activities are limited for kids. There are many benefits of learning outside such as reducing stress and increasing motivation. 

 

Image taken from Stanford University

 

A short walk outdoors can reduce stress.Just one minute outside can help with stress. An unpleasant environment can cause one to feel stressed and less motivated. A nice environment helps with that. If a student is doing homework in a really loud and distracting place, it can make them feel more frustrated and stressed. A calming environment such as a backyard can help with that. Doing work while listening to calming sounds like birds or wind can help relieve tension. That is why most study playlists include natural sounds like water. During the pandemic, we have more time to be around nature since we are all stuck at home. 

 

Image taken from Ontario Parks

 

Concerning the first point, being outside can also help with concentration and  motivation. When students are less stressed, it can make them more motivated and concentrated. Being in nature helps reduce your cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Nature also boosts endorphin levels, promoting happiness. When kids are happy about what they are doing, they are more likely to do their best. When students are stressed, they will have no motivation and give up. Breathing fresh air also helps. If you are in a classroom, students benefit from teachers learning outdoors. When doing work on topics like the environment, studying outside can help one connect with the topic. All of this results in students being more motivated. 

There are other reasons as to why one should go outside to learn like helping with memorization and spark creativity.  Now let’s talk about how to make that happen. When students find themselves too stressed, relax for a bit, go outside, breathe some fresh air. Even a minute outside can help. If the weather permits, sit outside to work. If you don’t know where to start, an excellent resource that promotes outdoor learning is Take Me Outside. This is a non-profit organization that has many resources and opportunities for people interested in nature. You can join workshops too. It has links to activities that you can do for each season. The organization is easy to use since it has activities listed clearly for each season. 

As said before, kids learn best when they are motivated. A way to make learning interesting is by incorporating nature. Go for a short nature walk, work outdoors, look at wildlife, or relax in nature. These things make for a more exciting work period. Here in Ontario, there are not many times where kids can be outdoors; summers are short and winters are cold. That is why kids should spend as much time as possible in nature since sunshine cannot be taken for granted. There are many benefits of learning outside such as reducing stress and kids becoming more motivated. 

 

 

Resources: 

6 benefits of working outdoors (with tips). Indeed Career Guide. (n.d.). Retrieved March 18, 2022, from https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/benefits-of-working-outdoors

Gareth Barber. (2019, April 9). 8 proven benefits of outdoor learning for school children. The Stable Company. Retrieved March 18, 2022, from https://www.thestablecompany.com/blog/8-proven-benefits-of-outdoor-learning-for-school-children

McLeod, L. (2020, June 19). The benefits of working outside. The Muse. Retrieved March 18, 2022, from https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-reasons-why-you-should-take-your-work-outside-plus-how-to-realistically-do-it 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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