Why do we work so hard to get kids outside?

Jeffers winter sceneWhy do we talk so much about getting kids outdoors, in January when it’s freezing and in July when it’s broiling, when we know it is such a big challenge for their teachers? And so many of the kids aren’t eager either?

Here is a take on the subject from the Jeffers Foundation in Minnesota, which describes its mission as fostering environmental stewardship through education:

“Would kids rather measure the circumference of a waste basket or that of a tree? Would children rather look at invertebrates in a book, on the screen or go outdoors and catch and examine them? Do kids learn better by talking about how birds migrate, or going out to watch the geese in formation? Which is more effective, to watch a video about butterflies or let one light on your finger outdoors? What is more fun to write about, a tree with bark, branches, leaves and flowers that can be experienced with all the senses or an image we see in a book or on the white board?

Children will learn more and better through hands-on, experiential learning outdoors! They’ll learn better, be more manageable, be healthier, and do better on tests.”

—Bill Stoneman

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