On Outdoor Work Space, and Why Your Child Needs to go Outside

DSC_0001

Being outside is a joy to the senses, and can do wonders for one’s mood! Here at Villa di Maria, we recognize all the major benefits of being outside, and have accommodated our children by providing lovely outdoor work environments. Read all about the benefits of children being outside in nature below! DSC_0103

Dr. Montessori recognized the many benefits of being in nature long before the science supported it. She noted that because children are such sensorial learners, the outdoors could provide them with much stimulation while also calming the mind and connecting them to all living things around them.

DSC_0064

Being outdoors has an interesting effect on the brain, increasing alpha waves, which produce a calm but alert stage: perfect for learning new material. Above, an Upper Elementary student asks for help in her research from UE Aide Justin Shepard on the outdoor patio.

DSC_0059

DSC_0118

In good weather (and sometimes not so good weather), Primary children choose to work outdoors – from reading in a quiet corner, to washing cloths and hanging them to dry. When they are working outdoors, they are peaceful and quiet, contemplative.

DSC_0104DSC_0099DSC_0090

DSC_0093

Look at that face of deep concentration!

DSC_0094

Being outdoors has shown remarkable ability to increase concentration, improved eye health, better sleep, memory retention, increase in vitamin D, reduction in stress levels, improved physical health, improved academic performance, reduction in blood pressure… the list goes on and on! Even going outside for 10 minutes at a time can have a profound effect (but of course, more outdoor time is better for all of us!).

DSC_0087

DSC_0042

The evidence of just how much time our Montessori students spend outdoors is everywhere! We hope you appreciate why they are coming home nice and dirty at the end of the day!

For further reading on how to support your child’s outdoor life outside of school, read our previous blog posts:
Great Hikes Around St. Louis

On Limiting Screen Time

Every Kid in a Park

Best St. Louis Summer Camps

Fort Builders

Loose Parts Play: A Montessori Playground

On Climbing Trees

Gardening with Children

Why Kids Need Recess