Outdoor games are known for their great educational benefits. By encouraging children to face challenges and make decisions together, they help them develop technical, intellectual and social skills.
In this category of activities there are various forms of routing, the use of a climbing wall or bike path, as well as team activities, with problems to be solved.
From a psychological point of view, such games help the child to change his position and feel the ability to do things that can affect all aspects of school life. They instill in them a sense of determination that gives them the confidence to face challenges, express and manage their feelings, and drive to succeed.
It is also a way to help children overcome their fears, anxiety or stress. Oftentimes, this includes taking them out of their comfort zone and exposing them to scenarios they are not used to. These can be situations that they perceive to be very difficult or potentially dangerous, and help them better define the boundaries between risk and safety.
Thus, teachers of physical education and sports have the task of imagining and suggesting situations of this arrangement to students, preferring their psychological development as much as possible while offering a minimum risk. In the United Kingdom, for example, programs include outdoor activities. It is about providing participants with intellectual and physical challenges that encourage them to work as a team, and to gain confidence while solving problems.
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Academically, these activities have the advantage of providing cross-curricular guidance allowing students to improve their reading, writing, arithmetic, and communication skills – with applications to other core subjects such as mathematics, geography and science.
These skills can be emphasized through games that test confidence and build team spirit. It also promotes a sense of cooperation and responsibility. Thus, many of these activities are welcome to facilitate the transition from primary to secondary, at a time when self-confidence is especially important.
Physical education teachers should also think about the types of exercises children can do at home.
Include all students
Young people engage in activities outside of school quite different from those in program sports such as cricket or rugby. Thus, many of them enjoy cycling in their spare time and making this activity possible in a school setting can increase the attractiveness of physical education to a larger number of pupils.
At the University of Brighton, for example, trained teachers have been introduced to this relatively new concept of “physical education on wheels,” drawing on the popularity of mountain bikes, BMX bikes, skateboarding and motorcycling, yet few schools have seen the potential of it. Sports to increase the activity level of children and adolescents.
These outdoor activities are ideal for engaging all students, even those with special educational needs which, with a few modifications, can be made available to them, allowing them to work collaboratively with others.
For reasons of cost, experience, equipment and time, unfortunately, not many children are able to share these experiences. But this kind of approach should not be limited to schools near forests or mountain ranges. These activities can be organized directly on site, even in schools with limited outdoor space.