Outdoor Classroom Day movement and the coronavirus crisis

1st April 2020

This is a statement from the global Outdoor Classroom Day team at Semble, who Learning through Landscapes is working closely with to take forward the campaign in the UK and ROI.

Published: 01.04.2020 | Last update: 13.05.21

Children’s lives continue to be disrupted as governments around the world tackle the coronavirus crisis. Where lockdown has eased, we are pleased to see children having more freedom to spend time outdoors. However, with measures often changing week to week, many are still stuck at home for periods with little or no access to outdoor spaces. 

As we continue to navigate these difficult and ever-changing times, the Outdoor Classroom Day community is here to support schools and parents in getting outside to play, learn and explore in whatever way they can.

We can’t predict what will happen over the next few months but we do know one thing – our community of teachers, parents and campaigners will continue towards our shared mission to make time outdoors part of every child’s day. 

Outdoor Classroom Day will be celebrated on 20 May and 4 November. 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

Looking back 

Back in March 2020, 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 and 5 November – we did things a little differently.

Playful Nature

For the first Outdoor Classroom Day of 2020, almost all of the world’s children were out of school and people were living with varying restrictions on their everyday lives. At worst, children and families were being told to stay at home. At best, they were permitted to go out for exercise and essentials. In 2020, we were divided by whether we had a garden, yard or some kind of private outdoor space. So, for Outdoor Classroom Day on 21 May, we launched Playful Nature to keep children connected to nature even if they were spending their days indoors. 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 the highlights.

Love the Outdoors 

By the second half of the year, the world had started to change. Importantly, children in many countries were back in school, although just as many others were still learning from home. Teachers and parents were witnessing the impact that a lack of time outdoors was having on children and campaigners were calling on governments to prioritise play for the world’s youngest citizens. Many were experiencing connection to nature for the first time and environmentalists highlighted the positive impact that the necessary decrease in activity was having on the planet. We know that spending time outdoors can have a profound impact on children’s physical and mental health. It also helps children develop a love of the natural world and grow up wanting to protect it. That’s why we launched our Love the Outdoors theme to take us to the next and final Outdoor Classroom Day of 2020 on 5 November. We gave teachers and parents ideas and inspiration to help them Love the Outdoors in whatever way worked for them and depending on the situation in their country. See our Twitter moment for some of the highlights.

About us

The global Outdoor Classroom Day is led by Semble (formerly Project Dirt) and supported by Unilever as part of their Dirt is Good movement. 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).

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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 🙂 Check out the resources tabs for ideas for the day – and to make learning and play part of every day!

Thank you for supporting Outdoor Classroom Day!

We’ll send you a newsletter shortly. 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!