Living Simply, Outdoor Education, Travel Tips & Ideas

15 Proven Benefits of Outdoor Education – Part 1


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Snorkelling off Pink Beach, Flores (near Komodo Island), Indonesia

This is the first part of a three-part post on the benefits of outdoor education.

With classrooms being  ‘classes in rooms’, it can often mean that a young person spends the majority of their day surrounded by four walls, desks, chairs and screens. Time outside of this may be sport, music, dance, drama but apart from sport the rest are indoors, and even sport can be indoors (albeit active). What a young person loses is the time to be outdoors – to smell, to walk, to play, to touch, to climb, to stumble, to jump, to swing, to fall over and get up. In other words, to soak up being outdoors and just ‘being’ in the space and time of the outdoors.

So what are the benefits of outdoor education?

1. Better grades

Real life chess in Marostica, Italy

This is probably the number one sticking point for parents is that their child is spending less time learning and they are just ‘on camp’. Fortunately, the science shows that outdoor education in fact improves a students grades. Research from Dennis Eaton the author of Cognitive and Effective Learning in Outdoor Education finds that the cognitive abilities of students develop better outside the classroom rather than in. In fact, the science suggests that students who are regularly involved in outdoor education have marked improvements in the basic skills of reading, writing and math.

2. Increased motivation

Learning to scuba drive (aged 12 on the left) of Mengangan Island, Indonesia.

After spending time outdoors, science has shown that students’ motivation levels carry over into indoor learning. Being in the outdoors is a powerful as it tugs at a young persons senses. They can focus on detail and describe something far better when outdoors than indoors. However, this also carries over into the classroom after time spent on an outdoor education program.

The physical change of pace and place that happens when outdoors is motivating in itself. Everyone needs variety.

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Explore & Inspire, Markets, Op Shops, Secondhand

Wonga Park Farmers’ Market – Wonga Park


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This was only the second time that the market ran and already they’ve found their mojo. Based out of the 120 year old Wonga Park Primary School, this Farmers’ Market has taken a proactive stance in having quality growers and suppliers showcasing and selling their wares.

With so much fresh local produce on offer, it is a culinary delight to explore the produce and chat with the growers and makers.  (more…)

Explore & Inspire, Markets, Op Shops, Secondhand

Lions Opportunity Shop – Warrandyte


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The Warrandyte Lions Club Opportunity Shop is located smack in the centre of town and therefore, attracts a lot of locals and tourists, particularly over the weekend.

Although the store isn’t large, it’s well laid out and there is plenty of stock to sift through. All clothes appear to be clean, well hung and put in size order which works for me.

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Explore & Inspire, Markets, Op Shops, Secondhand

Bellarine Community Farmer’s Market – Ocean Grove


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My local Ocean Grove friend brought me here as we are big fans of markets, garage sales, secondhand stores and op shops. She knows I love a Farmers Market so off we trotted. Clearly this market is in its infancy but off to a good start.

This is a ‘produce only’ market with the main aim to bring together local farmers, community gardens, backyard growers and producers to provide fresh food and produce direct to the public. Centralising this at Ocean Grove seems to have paid off.

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Explore & Inspire, Markets, Op Shops, Secondhand

Southbank Market – Melbourne


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This market has been running for a number of years and it’s all about handmade, homemade and for some stallholders – upcycled. The quality of the local art and crafts is of a high calibre and take the time to speak to the designers as they often have a great tale to tell.

Whether you’re after a hat for the races, handbag, jewellery, artwork, gift cards or more, the Southbank Market showcases some f the best local Melbourne artistic talent.

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