We see this as experiencing learning indirect a little like play, we are learning new things, how to deal with different tasks and situations.
Being outside in the outdoors pulls us from the relative safety of the indoors our “safe house” shall we say, our “comfort zone”. In our beginnings our first foray into the great outdoors, our earliest adventures I would imagine for most being carried in the arms of parents and being pushed along in a buggy or something similar (seems old fashioned to say “pram” but these are some of my oldest memories), our minds like blotting paper soaking up some of our first observations, noises and smells, imprinted in our memories. Babes in arms we are safe, though with time we grow and will need to develop an awareness of hazards and dangers, to evaluate risk and to stay safe! Opportunities to take up and welcome new challenges will be presented outside of our “safe house” more often than not in the outdoors. It is with this that the more opportunities we get to be “out there” we can develop, become stronger and gain more confidence, expand our “comfort zone”.
Most will experience this through days out, a trip to the sea-side or school trip and will probably be experienced, shared, enjoyed and undertaken with friends, family and teachers.
From the moment there’s a mention of experiencing something different our imagination, thoughts kick in, we are learning! We begin to plan, discuss, sometimes we may think of nothing else, we will ask others to enlighten us, this in itself is learning. We learn to listen (even if told to do so) and visualise.
Outdoor learning generally involves some form of activity, from gathering, collecting and or spotting things (for example eye-spy) from a tick sheet, we are learning to observe and once again to listen. Other activities may involve a more creative experience like building a sand castle or a mini water craft such as a raft, and don’t forget that all time favourite playing in a field that has been mowed and building a make believe house with rooms and doorways, the walls simply marked out with lines of freshly cut grass. All of these combining different tools, textures, materials and smells.
Beyond the grassy field we may be drawn in by more challenging activities and learning platforms, a much steeper learning curve. To climb a steep wall or rock face, to ascend trees, access to a higher place such as tree trekking. For some these may be a little too much to figure out, others may take it in their stride. Either way learning outcomes will be presented, on one side fear and dread, how to overcome and problem solve the larger than life obstacle that stands in the way, for others excitement and discovery a chance to explore, a chance to prove and go beyond.
Grab the opportunity to “go out there” to adventure, discover and do some fun learning (indirect-learning).