Absolutely, if you're not taking advantage of the outdoor experience with your classroom, your missing great opportunities to spark curiosity and creativity in the children you care for each day. The door is wide open for engaging the children in science and sensory development.
I can hear the words loud and clear....its raining, it's really cold, it's snowing and on and on. None of these weather types (except severe weather & heat) should keep your classroom from enjoying a daily outdoor experience. If it is cold, rainy, windy, or hot-dress the children accordingly.
Communicate with the parents in your classrooms- your outdoor plans. Be sure to post it on your lesson plans, bulletin boards parent communication notes.
There are many ways to bring learning outside, the winter months-snow, spring-gardening, summer-water fun and fall...oh boy Fall- leaves, acorns, pine cones, sticks the list goes on and on. What about music, art, reading, circle time and outdoor observations.
I am convinced that a lesson plan that includes outdoor explorations will win your classroom over, especially if you are having issues with behavior and discipline. The bottom line- children need to be outside, to be active to be creative, to be spontaneous and believe it or not to think, yes they can become thinkers. How, ask them where are the leaves in the winter, ask your classroom how does a garden grow, ask them why is the sky blue and where are the stars in the daylight.
Children learn everywhere in every experience, outdoor explorations can come through their everyday fun as well
This is where a "thinking" teacher can lead their class into a wonderful world of outdoor development and connection -with nature, science, math, problem solving, communication through projects and group Offering activities that guide the children in areas of physically active play while enjoying marching to music with instruments or doing the bunny hop or hot potato to music or acting out the parts of Row, Row, Row your Boat.
Less active play could be as simple as painting to music at the picnic table.
Enjoy your outdoor classroom, the children definitely will!