The Outdoor Classroom Day movement and the coronavirus crisis

2nd April 2020

Note: This is a statement from the global Outdoor Classroom Day team at Semble, who Nature Play Australia is working closely with to take forward the campaign in Australia.

 

Published: 02.04.2020 | Last update: 06.08.20

Children’s lives continue to be disrupted as governments around the world tackle the coronavirus crisis. In those countries where lockdown has eased, we are pleased to see children having more freedom to spend time outdoors. However, many are still stuck at home with little or no access to outdoor spaces. As children return to school, to playschemes and just to being allowed to play out near their homes, the Outdoor Classroom Day community is here to support schools and parents in getting outside to play, learn and explore.

In addition to the slow return of outdoor freedoms, we are heartened to see outdoor learning being explored by many countries as a solution to reopening schools with social distancing in mind. With our partners, we are ready to support teachers who need a bit of help to make this work.

Although things are moving forwards, with so much change still happening we remain concerned about the impact the pandemic is having on children’s wellbeing.

Our response

Back in March, we asked the Outdoor Classroom Day community how we could best support them during this difficult time. They told us they want ideas about connecting to nature, a way to celebrate the outdoors, and to connect with other teachers and parents around the world. That’s why – for Outdoor Classroom Day on 21 May – we launched our Playful Nature theme.

As well as sharing ideas for connecting to nature through play that could be done from anywhere, we invited everyone to celebrate their connection to the natural world by dressing
up in nature on the day. See our Twitter moment for some of our highlights.

Love the Outdoors

As we head towards the next Outdoor Classroom Day on 5 November, we have a new theme to take us through the next few months – Love the Outdoors!

 

 

Spending time outdoors can have a profound impact on children’s physical and mental health, but today’s children have less and less time to play and learn outdoors. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, over half of children worldwide were getting less than an hour of outdoor play a day*.

Time outdoors – on Outdoor Classroom Day and every day – makes children happier and healthier. It helps them develop a love of the natural world, which means they are more likely to grow up wanting to protect it.

Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing ideas on how everyone can celebrate Outdoor Classroom Day based on the situation in their country. They will get ideas and inspiration to help them Love the Outdoors in whatever way is right for them and how to be part of the movement for more time outdoors every day.

Join our community today to get involved and to be part of the movement. 

Together, we will make sure children experience the benefits of the outdoors as we move through the coronavirus pandemic. And we’ll work harder than ever once it is over to make sure children have time outdoors every day.

Thank you for your continued support.

Dominika Jarosz

Head of Campaigns

Semble

About us: Who is behind Outdoor Classroom Day 

The global Outdoor Classroom Day is led by Semble and sponsored globally by Unilever’s Dirt For Good Project which believes that when children have the freedom to explore and get stuck in to the things they care about, they learn and develop. Dirt For Good Project aims to support teachers, parents and carers to empower children to do good for the planet, through simple and engaging activities.

Semble, a founding partner of the original campaign, works with respected environmental and educational NGOs around the world to deliver locally relevant campaigns, including: Nature Play WA (Australia), United Way Colombia (Colombia), ACE Trust (India), Movimento Bloom (Portugal), Symphonia for South Africa (South Africa), Ulko-opet ry (Finland), Learning through Landscapes (UK and Ireland) and Aktif Yaşam Derneği (Turkey). 

*Edelman in Muddy Hands, 2018

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Thanks for joining the movement, we can’t wait to see what you get up to on the day! Please share this with your colleagues and friends to help us make it possible for every child to get outdoors to learn and play every day 🙂

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Time to play is critical for every child – share your moments with us by tagging #OutdoorClassroomDay and make every day a day to learn and play outdoors!

Thank you for supporting Outdoor Classroom Day!

Thanks for joining the movement we can’t wait to see what you get up to on the day! Please share this with your colleagues and friends to help us make it possible for every child to get outdoors to learn and play every day 🙂 Check out the resources tabs for ideas for the day – and to make learning and play part of every day!

Wohoo! Top marks for signing up!

Thanks for joining the movement, we can’t wait to see what you get up to on the day! Please share this with your colleagues and friends to help us make it possible for every child to get outdoors to learn and play every day 🙂

Thank you for supporting Outdoor Classroom Day!

We’ll send you a newsletter shortly, but in the meantime why not print out this poster and take it to a teacher you know…?

Time to play is critical for every child – share your moments with us by tagging #OutdoorClassroomDay and make every day a day to learn and play outdoors!