For many children, playing outside is still not something they take for granted, what to about this as a teacher?

And that is worrying, because the impact on the development of a child is great. It is therefore important that children regularly go outside during school hours. But how do you do that if you do not have a forest or other nature near your school? Or if there is no budget for an excursion? We found out for you what possibilities there are to let your students enjoy nature in an educational way.

Fear, less time and less green

It’s not just gameboys and game consoles that cause children to play too little outside. Research by The Wild Network shows that there are other important causes. For example, parents are afraid of what can happen to their children outside. There is less and less time to take the children to the woods or a park. And the green areas around us are becoming built up with homes and businesses.

What can you do as a teacher to involve your students more with nature if there is no forest next to your school or if there is no budget for an excursion to a park or outdoor playground? We list the possibilities for you:

Playing outside is healthy

Yet it is of great importance that children play as much as possible outdoors and in nature, such as a forest, a natural playground or a grass field. The Trend Report Youth, Nature and Health by Nature Education shows that playing outside in nature has a positive effect on health, development of the senses, motor skills, social skills, self-esteem and creativity.

Forest schools and tiny forests

Many initiatives have been launched to promote outdoor play. For example, in the Netherlands there are more and more “forest schools”, a concept originating from Denmark. In a forest school children get regular outdoor education. They discover for themselves the play and learning opportunities in nature. Many practical lessons are taught, such as making your own fire, building a hide or recognizing plants, insects and other animals.

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