Outdoor education for a post Covid-19 world

Outdoor education: changing the way we view learning spaces

Covid-19 has deeply affected the nation’s children; their education, fitness and wellbeing. Can outdoor learning have a role to play in helping to restore and rebuild their confidence and mental health?

It is safe to say that children and young people have been among those most impacted by the pandemic, missing school hours, time with their friends and being confined to their homes with limited access to the outdoors and playing and the important experiences they bring. Outdoor education could be a vital resource for all schools, particularly for disadvantaged children and children of inner-city schools. It is clear that the pandemic has had a huge effect on inequalities of access to the benefits of engagement with green space and playgrounds for children and young people (read here about unequal access to green spaces).

The 10 key benefits to high-quality outdoor education are:

1. Enjoyment

2. Confidence and character

3. Health and wellbeing

4. Social and emotional awareness

5. Activity skills

6. Personal qualities

7. Skills for life

8. Increased motivation and appetite for learning

9. Broadened horizons

10. Teacher-peer trust and understanding

We need to help children regain these valuable experiences and benefit from the unique role outdoor education can play.

How can our interactive product range facilitate outdoor education?

– Enhance learning capabilities by moving

– Fun interactive games that remain challenging and can continually be changed

– Various difficult levels for all ages and abilities

– Fun, exercise and learning in one playset

– inclusive for all ages and abilities

The Yalp Memo Interactive play pillars are full of mathematical puzzles, memory challenges, spelling games, an alphabet game, and a quiz with up to 500 questions. The maths games have different levels of play with 500.000+ equations to solve. They are ranging from basic maths like subtraction and addition to modules about the binary system. On top of that, we have a knowledge quiz developed together with the famous Dutch scientific magazine Quest.

Before the pandemic hit, we had the opportunity to attend a Year 3 outdoor learning session with Tollerton School. The most insightful part of the day was the encouragement the children gave each other and how the team spirit to find the answers or spur on the underdog in the running challenges. As any game developer knows, it’s not just about the enjoyment of the player themselves, but the possibility to attract an audience to the game, which in turn inspires them to play – that is what makes gaming so addictive.

Mrs Cooper the class teacher said: “We thoroughly enjoyed the session on Monday – the children were engaged and active which was great. The interactive memo mat is a great resource for the community and even though I don’t live in the village, I will visit it over the holidays with my own children aged 13 and 8. The resource is good quality and worked with no glitches – we will be interested to see how games develop further and will revisit with my new class in the new term.”

The Yalp Sona Interactive play arch has several games where children have to remember a code, dance, do mathematics or follow a racecourse as fast as possible!

“In times like these, it can be important to shift your focus away from academic achievement and onto that of the students’ mental health” – 

Janet Green, Forest School Practitioner, Lime Tree primary academy.

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