WE’RE ON A MISSION

...to change the world and to give children back their childhood!

We want to make people understand that spending time outdoors is as important for children’s development as learning to read and write. We want to show how learning outside of the classroom engages and excites children in spectacular ways. We want everyone to understand that outdoor play is the key to improving children’s health, wellbeing and happiness. We want to make it clear that outdoor play is not a ‘nice to have’, it is essential for children’s development.

 

Why outdoor play and learning?

When teachers take learning outdoors they report some powerful impacts: Children’s behaviour improves, whole classes are excited to learn, and individuals who feel inhibited by the curriculum often thrive in an outdoor environment.

When adults think back to their own happiest memories of childhood, they frequently recall the joy of playing outdoors. Play is not only central to children’s enjoyment of childhood, but teaches critical life skills such as problem-solving, teamwork and creativity.

Find out more about the benefits of outdoor play and learning and the difference that Outdoor Classroom Day is making in schools around the world in our latest report, The impact of outdoor learning and playtime at school – and beyond.

To see where over 3.5 million children got involved in 2018 take a look at the 2017 Map.

Benefits Include

  • 1. Better
    Social Skills
  • 2. Enhanced
    team work
  • 3. Better
    engagement with learning
  • 4. Happiness!

OUR CAMPAIGN GOALS

Outdoor Classroom Day is a global campaign to inspire and celebrate outdoor learning and play. By getting involved in the annual celebrations, you help send a message to the world that time outdoors every day is important for every child. You also help us achieve these longer-term shared goals:

  1. Outdoor learning part of every school day  

    Outdoor learning is part of every school day for every child.

  2. A consistent minimum target for recess/playtime  

    Every child has great recess/playtime at school every day for at least 60 minutes, with the longer-term aim of 90 minutes.

  3. Schools to advocate for more time outdoors 

    Schools act as advocates for more time outdoors, so that outdoor play becomes part of every child’s everyday life.

WHO IS BEHIND OUTDOOR CLASSROOM DAY?

The global Outdoor Classroom Day is led by Project Dirt, supported by Unilever as part of their Dirt is Good movement. Project Dirt is a social enterprise that connects and resources grassroots community projects, and a founding partner of the original campaign. Unilever is backing Outdoor Classroom Day as part of their core purpose to help parents everywhere make sure that real play is part of every child’s day.

Project Dirt works with respected environmental and educational NGOs around the world to deliver locally relevant campaigns, from Finland to Brazil. These NGOs are supported by local Dirt is Good teams, and the experts they work with, to broaden their reach. But really the campaign is delivered on the ground by teachers, parents and supporters just like you! None of us can do this alone.

To discover more, check out the videos in this playlist… 

The Campaign's History

In 2011, at the launch of Tim Gill’s Sowing the Seeds report, a group of educators and environmentalists discussed how schools in particular could address the issues that stop children getting outdoors. Their solution was a new campaign they called Empty Classroom Day.

In 2012 a handful of schools in London, England, got involved. By 2015, over 600 schools in 15 countries were involved. As the campaign grew, the volunteers who were running it recognised the need for dedicated investment. So, in 2016, Project Dirt partnered with Unilever’s Dirt is Good team to grow the movement and take it global.

Following consultation with school leaders, play experts and NGOs around the world, the global campaign became Outdoor Classroom Day. There are currently dedicated campaigns running in 13 countries, in addition to a much wider network of schools getting involved in more than 110 countries worldwide!

The campaign’s founder and advisory board member, Anna Portch, continues to be involved in every campaign day.

Academic research shows that active play is the natural and primary way that children learn

Sir Ken Robinson, leading expert in education, creativity and human development

Share

Help to spread the word about Outdoor Classroom Day! Share this page and get friends and colleagues on board.

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 🙂

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!

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 🙂

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!