An Island Overnight
Dear 8th grade Parents,
I am not sure if you know this about me but I am a huge outdoor fan and advocate for children taking time to disconnect from technology and instead, connecting with the outdoors. Although our trip to Block Island was brief, it still gave your children a glimpse into how special life can be without screens. With each hour that went by, we observed changes in behavior and meaningful interactions between our 8th grade students. They were living in the moment and interacting with each other in an authentic way.
Some of the many benefits of an outdoor education field trip include the following:
- Build confidence. Play is less structured. Children learn how to entertain themselves and navigate “problems” that arise in play without interference of adults.
- Offer choice. Some children chose to be active and organize games, others chose to explore in solitude or small groups.
- Reduce stress. Children in today’s world are pulled in so many different directions and they can’t seem to get away from the stimuli, distractions, and pressures.
- Promote creativity and imagination. When children are not interacting with screens or engaged in organized activities by adults, they have to think differently and create experiences for themselves.
- Provides sensory stimulation. Fresh air and salt water-- your children’s sense of smell, sound, and touch are heightened in the outdoors.
- Spark inquiry. We saw a whale that had died and washed up on the beach. We kayaked in challenges conditions that made us question tides and winds. We dissected squid that sparked curiosity in other living creatures in the ocean. These experiences make us think, feel, and imagine.