Why do outdoor play and learning matter?

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    This chapter presents an overview of outdoor environments as spaces for promoting children’s learning, development and wellbeing. When examining the history of early years education, it is apparent that the seminal thinkers understood the unique and important contribution of the outdoors in early learning and development. Outdoor play has been a feature of early years education for centuries. The educational philosophies and pedagogical approaches of Rousseau have been influential in emphasising the unique contribution of the natural environment as an important resource and context, within which children learn through their sensory interactions with the physical world. A number of other social and environmental factors have been identified to explain these changes in children’s outdoor play. Evidence is accruing that inexpensive improvements in outdoor play can lead to increases in children’s physical activity. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationOutdoor learning environments
    Subtitle of host publicationspaces for exploration, discovery and risk-taking in the early years
    EditorsHelen Little, Sue Elliott, Shirley Wyver
    Place of PublicationCrows Nest, NSW
    PublisherAllen & Unwin
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Electronic)9781003116660
    ISBN (Print)9781760296858
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Bibliographical note

    First Published 2017, eBook Published 26 July 2020 (Routledge)


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