On 5 November, Outdoor Classroom Day will be celebrated across the country to emphasise why time outdoors is critical for children’s health, wellbeing and their connection to nature.
Leadership and education non-profit organisation, Symphonia for South Africa, is calling on schools across South Africa to get involved in this day. In addition to being a perfect tool to manage schooling in a Covid-19 world, time outdoors is critical for children’s physical and mental health and their connection to nature.
According to Programme Manager for Outdoor Classroom Day in South Africa, Lynda Smith, they all know that being outdoors can make people feel good, but it also has some real benefits to children – teachers tell us time and again and the research backs it up. “But today’s children are spending less time outdoors than ever before and this is having a detrimental impact. Outdoor Classroom Day is about recognising this and taking steps towards making time outdoors a key part of the school day.”
A statement by Outdoor Classroom Day explains that, despite the unprecedented challenges of 2020, more than 2000 children across the country have been registered to celebrate Outdoor Classroom Day this year. Under ordinary circumstances, teachers are urged to take lessons outdoors on the day and increase playtime, but this year teachers, parents and children are being challenged to celebrate in whatever way they can. Some will plant seeds to mark the day, while others will plan outdoor activities that can be done at home.