Today is National Teacher Day and to celebrate this event, we are going to look at the benefits of Outdoor Play.

National Teacher Day is an opportunity for pupils and staff to recognise and honour the work that teachers and teaching assistants do, day in day out, in schools, colleges and nurseries up and down the country.

And as the end of another academic year approaches, especially for all of those who are due to leave school and move on to pastures new, it is an opportunity to say thank you to your teacher for all the support and encouragement you have received.

The teaching profession often gets a lot of mixed press at the moment unfortunately; and popular opinion would suggest that teachers are well paid, with loads of holidays and get to partake in lots of interesting extra curricula activities.

Whilst those in the profession have strong arguments to say that schools are underfunded, resulting in a lack of resources and that teachers are under more and more pressure to reach results to meet inspections and deadlines.

There’s also all of the exam marking at this time of year, as well as increasingly difficult classroom conditions which mean that many are sadly leaving the profession after years of exemplary service.

But here at Discovering Days we wanted to focus on some of the more enjoyable aspects of teaching, and so to celebrate National Teacher Day and with a nod towards the summer term, we wanted to let you know about the benefits of outdoor play; definitely one of the more enjoyable aspects of teaching!

Want to find out more? Read on!

Outdoor Play – Good for the kids. Boy sat outside with book laughing, to represent the benefits of Outdoor Play

There are so many benefits for children when they get the chance to play outside.

The space of the playground and the open skies above allow children of all ages the freedom of expression that can never be achieved in a classroom.

Whether it’s a structured sports-day event where children can learn about team work, have fun with their friends and maybe win the odd medal for taking part in a race or two, to simply having time to exert some excess energy during a regular break time, playing outside is a great place to let off steam.

It is true to say, that children feel pressure as well as adults, and whereas the classroom can feel quite a regulated area, a safe outdoor expanse of space, no matter how big or small, provides a welcome opportunity for children to use their imagination in different ways, and can be the difference between a massive indoor meltdown, to sending children home at the end of the day tired out and happy, having had loads of fresh air and ‘free time’.

When children are allowed to play outdoors, they are also learning about the natural environment around them.

Not all children want to run around like warriors; some may be more interested in examining the bugs and plants and be keen naturalists with heroes such as Chris Packham or Greta Thunberg; and Discovering Days have a wonderful range of hand made wooden planters, perfect for children with the environment at their heart.

In addition, we have the delightful sandpits, the larger one coming with a sliding lid, but if space is an issue, we have a smaller option with a drop on lid which keeps the sand dry and clean when not in use. Here, children can dig and build sandcastles, or construct roadways and excavation points for diggers and cranes.

All of which is allowing a child that natural development that comes from outdoor play and creative learning.

Outdoor Play – Good for the Teacher.

And as it’s National Teacher Day, let’s not forget how good outdoor play time can be good for teacher too!

When you’ve debunked your classroom outside, and the children are partaking happily in outdoor play, it’s an excellent time for personal reflection and a moment of ‘me time’.

You can breathe in the fresh air just like the children, and marvel at how playing outside is as much fun for the youngsters you are responsible for, as it was when you were a child and being an adult seemed it was some kind of exotic adventure that you would magically arrive at one day!

When the children are enjoying outdoor play, it’s also a great opportunity to see a true reflection of what they enjoy as individuals.

Some might enjoy solving puzzles on the Outdoor Activity Wall, whilst others might enjoy climbing aboard the Good Ship Discovery and using pretend play to stimulate their imagination.

And if you need some shade from the sun, or a space to gather the children for a group lesson, Discovering Days manufacture and install our signature Outdoor Classroom perfect for Outdoor Play in ANY weather!

People potting small plants to represent the benefit of Outdoor Play

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So why not take this opportunity of National Teacher Day to have a think about the really enjoyable aspects of the job, you definitely deserve that moment of contemplation if nothing else!

And whilst you are having a think, try and remember how you felt as a child when it was Outdoor Play Time; the freedom that it gave you and the pressure release you felt from being stuck in a stuffy classroom all day, and if any of the wooden toys you’ve read about here are pieces of playground equipment you think the children at your school or nursery would love you can contact us here, or call 01282 416 755 to speak to one of our dedicated team who will be able to help you..

We don’t mind even swapping stories about how much fun we used to have when it was time for Outdoor Play!


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