Green Schoolyards offer a multitude of benefits.
Why outdoor learning is important:
- How to Connect Young Students to Nature During the Pandemic – Sierra Club:
- “Nature changes us and heals us. Every child deserves the physical, emotional, social, and even academic benefits of time spent outdoors.”
- Teachers Plea for Outdoor Learning– NY Daily News
- “And per current guidelines, the requirements of indoor learning — sitting six feet apart, no contact, no sharing materials, and staying in one enclosed space for hours on end — are not developmentally appropriate for young children.”
- Schools Beat Earlier Plagues with Outdoor Classes – NYT
- If students are going to be back in person, learning outside is safer. See our One-Page Resource: 2020-teaching-outside-during-covid-19
Why playgrounds (especially those design by the communities they serve) are important:
- Youth learn to be political by forming attachments to their communities and accessing opportunities in the settings of their everyday lives.
- Bright colors encourage imaginative play and gets kids moving more.
- Parks and playgrounds foster meaningful relationships, combating loneliness and social disconnection, emerging key factors in many health and mental health illnesses.
Why parks and exposure to nature is important:
- Schools that Heal: Design with Mental Health in Mind
- Ecopsychology: How Immersion in Nature Benefits Your Health
- Parks are Cathedrals
- The link between Green Space and Mental Health in Children
- Kids who spend more time outside are more physically active.
- Experiencing nature reduces mental fatigue and increases the ability to focus.
- Exposure to nature improves sleep.
Why play is important:
- The State of Play: The act of play shapes how our children see the world
- Play helps kids process the world and recover from trauma.
- The Benefits of Play from Voice of Play
- NYT Parenting: Now’s a Good Time to Teach Your Kid’s to Play on Their Own
- The Atlantic: How The Coronavirus is Influencing Children’s Play
- Washington Post: Why it’s Good for Grown-Ups to Go Play
Why recess and P.E. are important: