More than 200,000 children across Australia took part in Outdoor Classroom Day on September 7.
More than 200,000 children across Australia took part in Outdoor Classroom Day on September 7. Contributed

Classes open to the great outdoors

MORE than 200,000 kids across the country took part in the first nationwide Outdoor Classroom Day.

A worldwide initiative, the event encourages schoolchildren and their teachers to spend some time outdoors.

A Galaxy Research survey showed parents thought the biggest risk that kids faced as a result of having less outdoor play time compared to past generations was a lack of social resilience, poor fine and gross motor skills and lack of perseverance.

Nature Play chief executive Griffin Longley said it was wonderful watching the children interact outside on September 7.

"When kids are outside and playing, they are inventing and making up games and rules for games, and negotiating between each other,” he said.

"Whatever it is, they have to work stuff out.

"One of the great things was watching the little squabbles as they're building cubbies out of sticks.

"You can see the teachers getting worried ... but those skills are fundamental to social and emotional development.”

More than 1.6 million children in 12,000 schools across the world have taken part in the campaign to date, as part of a global movement pioneered to get children engaging in more real play.

In a first for Australia, children took part in outdoor activities ranging from kite decorating, seed bomb constructions and cubby house building.

For more information or to get your school involved in the next one, go to outdoorclassroomday.com.au.



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