Outdoor education is an effective means of building resilient and creative individuals through exposure to real-world situations. Beyond what is offered in a traditional classroom setting lies a world of challenges and growth opportunities to be discovered. We at New Life Childcare near Choa Chu Kang (In Junction 10) provide ample chances for children to face such challenges head-on in outdoor environments, which is essential for developing perseverance and resilience.
However, we also believe in empowering parents to strengthen their child’s development. Your child needs consistent exposure to outdoor learning beyond centre activities in order to learn how to thrive in challenges. Here are 6 activities that you can use to cultivate resilience and problem-solving skills in your child:
Test your child’s spatial imagination by giving them maps and terrain to navigate! The terrain could be something as simple as a playground obstacle course. Using maps and compasses to navigate the outdoors engages children’s critical thinking abilities, as they try to interpret map symbols while planning routes and making decisions. Larger environments, such as parks, may also present diverse obstacles or obstructions that require them to be resilient in finding a way across.
2. Team-building exercises
Outdoor team-building exercises, such as rope courses and cooperative games, foster communication and teamwork among children. Children develop collaboration and learn to problem-solve as a team when they work together and have to rely on each other’s strengths to accomplish a task. Organise a playdate with your child’s best buddies and teach them some cooperative games.
3. Nature exploration
By taking part in nature exploration activities like scavenger hunts or observing natural phenomena, children can engage with their surroundings. Through finding clues and identifying items in the natural environment, they are able to cultivate their abilities for keen observation as well as astute critical analysis. These abilities will equip them to deal with new environments and the challenges that come with them.
4. Survival skills training
Survival skills training for young children is about teaching them basic safety practices. Ensure children know their full name, parents’ names, and emergency phone numbers. Road, fire, and water safety can help them recognise potential dangers, such as learning traffic signals, avoiding bodies of water without supervision, and understanding the hazards of fire. Show your children how to navigate their environment by teaching them basic directions. Fun activities like searching for hidden treasures or exploring the outdoors can help build their directional awareness.
5. Environmental projects
Getting children involved in environmental projects like managing sustainable gardens is a great way to further promote resilience and develop problem-solving skills. Hands-on experiential learning enhances children’s ability to think critically as they navigate complex issues that affect the protection and sustainability of their environment. Taking care of gardening projects over a long time also trains children’s commitment to see things through – when they finally reap the results of long-term effort, the fruit of gaining perseverance can be sweeter than the reward itself!
5. Adventure-based learning
Adventure-based learning for young children provides opportunities to navigate new environments and adapt to different situations. Take young children for nature walks, visit botanic gardens and animal sanctuaries to discover different plants or animals while identifying diverse natural features. Involve children in gardening chores where they can plant seeds and water plants. Nothing beats first-hand experience when it comes to learning about the great outdoors!
Learning Outdoors: Nature’s Calming Presence
One great unspoken benefit to outdoor learning is that connecting with the natural world can have a profound effect on children’s emotional and mental well-being. By experiencing the serenity, beauty and magnificence of nature, children can nurture connections with nature that help them build emotional resilience and a deeper appreciation for life.
Nature not only is an insightful teacher, it also gives us a sense of wonder and deep peace that enables us to better face our challenges in life, whether we are young or old. Who knows, you may find yourself growing in resilience as you embrace nature with your child!